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Kanawha County students ride on new electric school buses

Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 5:53 PM EST
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KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Students in Kanawha County got the chance to hop aboard one of the new electric buses built by GreenPower Motor Company. It may not be too long before some of these buses are seen on the roads in West Virginia.

For students like St. Albans Sophomore Garin Stanford, he said the buses feel different from what he’s used to.

“I’m very used to the diesel buses, and that’s what I’ve been riding on my whole life,” he said. “And so seeing that this might be the new normal is kind of blows my mind a little bit.”

Stanford said what stuck out to him most was how quiet the bus is compared to what he usually rides.

And he’s not the only one impressed.

Kanawha County Schools Superintendent Tom Williams said, over the long haul, the buses could save the district a lot of money.

“I think in the long run, it’ll be easier for us cheaper for us to operate,” Williams said. “Of course, we won’t be able to go all in at once.”

Every year the district buys five to six replacement buses, and this is a new option available to them.

The demonstration was led by Ryne Shetterly with Green Power Motor Company. He said they showed the buses to students because they plan to be a big part of the community and want them to be part of what they do.

“We’re going to be building these vehicles here locally in South Charleston, West Virginia, and many of those kids are going to be a part of the future,” Shetterly said.

Before seeing electric buses can come to Kanawha County, a few things need to happen first. Williams said their transportation department needs to bring forward a proposal and then the school board has the final say.

“For those kids that are in the automotive industry, now, our classes and the electrical, what a great opportunity,” Williams said. “We can keep our kids here in West Virginia, which is what we need to do.”

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