Mercer County among school systems testing out electric school buses

With nearly 80 buses under Mercer County Schools care one of those buses is currently electric.
Updated: Sep. 7, 2022 at 8:23 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PRINCETON, W.Va. (WVVA) - For some students attending Princeton Primary, Mercer School, Princeton Middle & Princeton Senior High School the bus ride to school on Wednesday, September 7th was not typical. It was electric.

Hayley Collins a senior soccer, cross country and track athlete at Princeton Senior High says when she rides buses she’s used to “just a regular school bus that’s really loud.”

“It was really quiet,” said Collins who had the opportunity to experience the bus for herself.

Many are echoing her sentiment. For the next six weeks in Mercer County, WV student will get to experience the electric bus which travels 150 miles on a single charge.

“To be candid, it was early in the morning so i have to give the kids a little bit of credit, almost all kids comment on how quiet the ride is. How smooth it is,” said CEO of GreenPower Motor Company, Fraser Atkinson, “interestingly enough they didn’t comment on the fact there was no diesel emissions.”

While the students may not have commented on it their school superintendent Dr. Ed Toman, who rode the bus along with the CEO and students, did.

“There’s no diesel sound, but you got a little bell set at 20 miles an hour. So until you get to 20 miles an hour the little bell rings sounds like a trolley,” said Toman.

“The kids were excited. It was neat being on the bus.”

Mercer County along with Cabell and Kanawha counties in West Virginia are testing these electric buses built by GreenPower Motor Company at a facility here in the Mountain State.

In particular it is surveying how efficient and effective they are.

Tony White was the bus driver behind the inaugural electric pick up and drop off and knows this is a historic moment.

“Change doesn’t bother me. I was excited actually i was anxious because I’d seen it sitting there. I like to try new things. This fits,” said White.