HomePartner UpdatesElectrifying Education: The Rise of Battery-Electric School Buses in Sustainable Transportation

Electrifying Education: The Rise of Battery-Electric School Buses in Sustainable Transportation

How a small elementary school district became the first to fully electrify its fleet.

Empowering the Future with Battery-Electric Transportation

The school bus of the future is here, today. Numerous school districts are making the transition toward a cleaner, healthier environment by switching from traditional diesel-powered school buses to battery-electric models, such as those offered by BYD | RIDE. The Type A, Type C and Type D school buses are all battery-electric models that are available to provide a more sustainable school transportation future. “The Achiever,” BYD | RIDE’s Type A school bus, was recently awarded the “Best Green Bus Technology” at STN EXPO for its innovative design.

This transition to clean transportation is pivotal in reducing carbon emissions and enhancing the well-being of students, faculty, and the communities they serve. Moreover, it ensures the safety of drivers and students by eliminating the harmful air pollutants associated with propane and diesel fuels.

Electrifying School Districts

BYD | RIDE, in partnership with the Los Olivos Elementary School District, is soon delivering its Type A battery-electric school bus, “The Achiever” to students in Santa Barbara County. This delivery will create the first U.S. school district to have a 100% zero-emission fleet.

Members of the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation (SMART) workers Union, Local 105, will assemble the buses at the BYD | RIDE Coach and Bus manufacturing facility in Lancaster, California.

“Since we began this process, our goal was to be the first school district in the Santa Ynez Valley to have a fleet that could serve our students and our community, and through this partnership we have accomplished just that,” said Ray Vazquez, superintendent and principal of Los Olivos Elementary. “Our electric bus will provide cleaner transportation and benefit our community by decreasing our carbon footprint. On behalf of the Los Olivos school district and the community, we are thrilled to partner with BYD | RIDE.”

BYD | RIDE Senior Vice President of Operations Patrick Duan said the purchase marks an important milestone in the community.

“BYD | RIDE’s innovative and safe battery technology will not only bring the students of Los Olivos to school in style but will also provide comfort to their parents who can expect safety, reliability and long-lasting performance from the Achiever, Type A school bus,” he stated.

Los Olivos parent and volunteer Kathryn Roherer praised the partnership.

“We are deeply grateful to BYD | RIDE’s school bus team for their encouragement and genuine enthusiasm for our little school district’s giant dream of investing in a healthier future by going electric,” she said. “This is an incredible opportunity to share with our students, and our neighbors throughout the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley, that even the smallest among us can help advance the goals of sustainable infrastructure and environmental justice.”

ChargePoint, a leading electric vehicle charging network, will provide charging infrastructure to Los Olivos School District for the Type A school bus.

“Through our partnership with BYD | RIDE, we are delivering a turn-key solution to school districts looking to achieve their sustainability goals through electrifying their bus fleets,” said Rich Mohr, vice president of fleet at ChargePoint. “Forward-thinking districts like Los Olivos are making a positive impact within their community by implementing the infrastructure required to support electrification. With this project, not only has Los Olivos electrified the school bus fleet, but also expanded the charging network into workplace and public vehicle charging for staff and visitors.”

Learn more at byd.com and download flyers for the Type A and Type D school buses below.

Download “The Achiever” flyer.
Download “The Dreamer” flyer.

June 2024

Read this month's magazine for a in-depth look at school bus fleet electrification. Learn more about how to plan...

Buyer’s Guide 2024

Find the latest vehicle production data and budget reports, industry trends, and contact information for state, national and federal...


Is training mechanics on high-voltage electric school buses a priority heading into the new school year?
33 votes