Illinois school district approves contract to transition 64 buses to zero-emission electric models

Media Contacts
Paloma Paez-Coombe

Former Associate, Environment Illinois

Initiative is largest 100% zero-emission school bus fleet conversion program in Midwest

Environment Illinois

CHICAGO — Troy Community Consolidated School District 30-C announced Thursday that it had awarded a new 10-year contract to Levo Mobility LLC to manage the transition of the district’s 64 school buses to zero-emission electric models. The initiative will make the school district based in Plainfield, Ill., the operator of the largest zero-emission school bus fleet in the state.

Transitioning from fossil fuel-powered school buses to zero-emission electric buses has significant benefits for children and the environment. Diesel and gas buses release harmful air pollution that has been linked to several serious health risks, including increased rates of respiratory illness and cancer. They also produce high levels of carbon emissions, which worsen global warming. Electric buses do not produce tailpipe emissions, so this transition will ensure cleaner air for kids and local communities. Electric buses also are responsible for significantly lower carbon emissions, even where electricity is still mostly generated from fossil fuels. 

While these health and environmental benefits have sparked growing interest in electric school buses nationwide, as of December 2021, zero-emissions models still made up less than 1% of the nation’s roughly 500,000 school buses. In Illinois, fewer than 30 electric school buses are currently in operation or on order outside of Troy 30-C, despite more than $4.2 million in grants distributed by Illinois EPA to buy them and build supportive infrastructure, including chargers. 

In response, Environment Illinois Associate Paloma Paez-Coombe and PIRG Transportation Associate Mac Dressman issued the following statements:

“Electrifying Illinois’s school buses is a critical part of meeting our state’s climate goals, and will help us build a greener, cleaner, healthier Illinois,” Paez-Coombe said. “We applaud Troy CCSD 30-C’s commitment to putting our planet and children’s health first by building the largest electric school bus fleet in Illinois.”

“Troy CCSD 30-C’s investment in electric buses will ensure a clean, safe ride to school for thousands of students in the Plainfield area,”Dressman said. “Zero-emission electric school buses are ready to roll, and we applaud the district for leading the charge in Illinois on clean air for kids.”

Learn more about Environment Illinois’ “Destination: Zero Carbon” campaign here.

staff | TPIN

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