First Student Replacing Pontiac School District's Entire Diesel Fleet with Electric School Buses

March 22, 2024
Replacing just one diesel school bus with an electric school bus helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 54,000 pounds annually

First Student, a North American provider of school bus services, has partnered with the Pontiac School District in Michigan and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to deploy 40 new electric school buses and replace the district's entire fleet of diesel buses. 

"This is where the rubber meets the road in revolutionizing student transportation," said First Student Head of Electrification Kevin Matthews. "These federal grants allow our school district partners, including the Pontiac School District, to see real, tangible results in creating healthier and safer communities. First Student is proud to deliver 40 electric buses to Pontiac."

The district secured the funding through the EPA's Clean School Bus Program, with a $9.75 million grant award in November 2023 and another $5.9 million grant award in January 2024.

The EPA's Clean School Bus program is designed to help school districts replace existing diesel school buses with zero-emission buses. Replacing just one diesel school bus with an electric school bus helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 54,000 pounds annually.

"Upgrading to electric school buses is a major win for the community and will mean reduced air pollution in and around schools,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator Debra Shore.

First Student intends to transition 30,000 of its diesel buses to electric by 2035 for improved health and well-being of students and communities. The company will start the deployment of the new buses during the 2024-25 school year.

About the Author

EnergyTech Staff

Rod Walton is senior editor for He has spent 14 years covering the energy industry as a newspaper and trade journalist.

Walton formerly was energy writer and business editor at the Tulsa World. Later, he spent six years covering the electricity power sector for Pennwell and Clarion Events. He joined Endeavor and EnergyTech in November 2021.

He can be reached at [email protected]

EnergyTech is focused on the mission critical and large-scale energy users and their sustainability and resiliency goals. These include the commercial and industrial sectors, as well as the military, universities, data centers and microgrids.

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