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Greenville County Schools welcomes first, electric bus

Published: Mar. 11, 2022 at 6:37 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Greenville County schools is moving into the future with its very, first electric bus.

The district is one of four districts in the state to receive an electric bus. The Ava Lane Meyer Foundation covered the costs.

The new bus is completely Carolina-made and was donated for students at Dr. Phinnize J. Fisher Middle School.

Superintendent W. Burke Royster, joined by other representatives from Tesla and manufacturers of the car, unveiled it Friday morning.

“It couldn’t be better timing as far as what’s going on in the world with oil prices and the impact that it has on us for fleet operations,” said Royster.

The bus’s parts come from Gaffney and it was manufactured in Greenville. The bus charges in two to four hours. It costs around $340,000, while a traditional bus costs around $100,000. And the bus can go a little over 100 miles on one full, charge.’ parts come from Gaffney and it was manufactured in Greenville. The bus charges in two to four hours. It costs around $340,000, while a traditional bus costs around $100,000. And the bus can go a little over 100 miles on one full, charge.

Eighth-grader Bryce Young was among a group of students who got to ride the bus for the first time.

“Instead of hearing gas run and hearing all the loud stops and the drips, instead, you just hear nothing but just a nice hum and melody. And to know that it has a back-up makes you feel a little safer about the bus driver backing up.”

Bus drivers will have to train to learn some of the operational differences

“It’s not just about better for the environment,” Royster said, “It’s also about long-term costs, operational costs.”

23-year veteran Elma Davis will eventually be the driver. She says her riders are eager.

“They are excited. They tell me, ‘You got the bus? The bus?’ this morning,” Davis said.

Davis says she isn’t intimidated. The only thing she doesn’t want to do is crash.

“We’re the best drivers in South Carolina,” Davis said, “They done threatened me already not to wreck the bus.”

The bus should be on the road right after Spring break.