Jul 13th 2017 - 9am.
Wind powers Minnesota's first 100 percent electric school bus, thanks to renewable energy credits. The eLion can travel 100 miles on a charge and meets or exceeds Minnesota's engine and safety standards, according to specs by manufacturer Lion Electric Co. of Quebec. Kara Hildreth / RiverTown Mulitmedia contributor
LAKEVILLE, Minn. - Future yellow school bus wheels will go round and round with electricity harnessed from wind power.
Three partners collaborated to roll out the electric school bus pilot program: Schmitty & Sons, Dakota Electric Association of Farmington and Great River Energy, the power supplier for Dakota Electric.
"It has been a really cool project and we have had great partners with Dakota Electric and Great River Energy, so it has been awesome to work on," said Mike Forbord, who works in divisional operations with Schmitty & Sons of Lakeville, Minn., that operates a fleet of 100 school buses serving area districts.
"You are always a little bit skeptical of a new, emerging technology when it first comes out, but we went to the factory in May and it turned out to be a great plus and a great product," Forbord said.
"One of the best things about it is that it is quiet and there is no sound," Forbord added. Unlike a diesel school bus, there is no loud engine rumble and no fuel-burning odor. The electric bus plays "awareness" music from an Mp3 file for students' safety.
"Dakota Electric brings cutting-edge technology, energy efficiency and is environmentally friendly and so this is really the bus of the future," said Joe Miller, public relations director with Dakota Electric Association in Farmington.
"It is really cool because it is the first electric school bus in Minnesota and the Midwest," said Jane Siebenaler, business account executive with Dakota Electric Association.
Powered 100 percent by electricity, the bus takes advantage of the Revolt program that