Canadian-based GreenPower Motor Company, Inc. announced in its quarterly earnings update that it has delivered its first two zero-emission Synapse 72 electric school buses to school districts in California.
Company representatives told School Transportation News on Tuesday that Rialto Unified School District near Riverside has two buses in its possession, while Los Angeles Unified School District will take delivery of one vehicle on Dec. 9.
The Rialto order was placed through School Bus Sales of California, Inc., GreenPower’s California factory direct dealer owned by ADOMANI, Inc. Rialto operates a fleet of 68 school buses to transport students who attend 29 elementary, middle and high schools.
The Synapse Type D all-electric school bus is purpose-built and seats a maximum of 72 kindergarten through grade 6 students. It offers a range of over 100 miles on a single charge. The vehicle can also be configured for up to 90 students with Level 2 onboard charging or made compatible with the Level 3 DC fast-charge system.
The GreenPower zero-emissions vehicle claims a class-leading 120 miles of range, is Title 13 compliant and officially has received 292 certifications by the California Highway patrol.
Company officials told STN they expect there to be up to 50 vehicles in service by the end of 2020.
Rialto USD serves the cities of Rialto and parts of Colton, San Bernardino, Fontana, Bloomington and Lytle Creek. The school district reports that it has about 26,485 students, 3,800 staff and a budget of about $200 million.
The district includes three comprehensive high schools, one alternative/adult education school, one continuation high school, five middle schools, 19 elementary schools and 20 preschools (on elementary campuses).
“The Rialto Unified School District is excited to add alternative fuel vehicles to our fleet,” said Mohammad Z. Islam, Rialto’s associate superintendent of business services. “Our partnership with GreenPower and with the South Coast Air Quality Management District, [which] provided grant funding, will enable our district to serve our students’ needs in an environmentally friendly manner.”
GreenPower President Brendan Riley called the orders a “strategic win” for the company, which opened a new sales office last year in Rancho Cucamonga near the Rialto Unified School District. “So we’ll be able to show customers our products in action,” he explained
The company also has a manufacturing facility in Porterville, California.
GreenPower uses global suppliers for key components, according to its website. The two drive motors are provided by Siemens, while the brakes are made by Knorr, the axles by ZF, and the dash and control systems by Parker.
GreenPower received an order in October 2017 for three Synapse 72 all-electric school buses for the Calaveras Unified School District, which is located near Sacramento, California. In total, that order was for over $1.1 million. Calaveras operates a fleet of about 40 school buses for transporting about 2,700 students.