WOAY Exclusive: Wyoming County Schools receive an all-electric school bus

WYOMING COUNTY, WV (WOAY)—Wyoming County Schools have received an all-electric school bus from GreenPower Motor Company. They participated in a pilot program last year to test these buses in our region.

A Type A Nano Beast school bus was presented to Wyoming County School District by the State of West Virginia at no cost to the school. They participated in a pilot program to help work out any issues with the buses, training, and other critical elements for these buses.

The pilot program they participated in was done in cooperation with Governor Jim Justice, the West Virginia Department of Economic Development, and the West Virginia Department of Education. When it came to joining the program, they did have some concerns.

“Well, based on our terrain, our geography or our mountainous area, we did have concerns. We knew that it would be a challenge, and we knew that there would be lots of ‘bugs’ to work out of the system,” said Deirdre Cline, Superintendent of Wyoming County Schools. “There have been very few issues. It actually works really well in our area. We run it in areas that we know will be close to a charger, and it’s been an important addition to our fleet. So we’re very happy with the program.”

Their biggest success was with their special needs students. Since the bus is silent and moves relatively smoothly, they saw that the students riding the bus had fewer disciplinary issues in the classroom. With that, Wyoming County Schools were able to help schools nationwide.

“We just are so excited to be partners again with Wyoming County. They were so important during the pilot. What they did here was not only important for Wyoming, but has been looked at by school districts all across the country. And they were really a leader in this area,” said Mark Nestlen, Vice President of Business Development and Strategy at GreenPower Motor Company. “So we’re just thrilled to be able to deliver this Nano Beast access to them today. And we look forward to bringing that Beast down here for them in the future.”

At the event, Nestlen announced that Wyoming County Schools were approved to receive the Beast school bus next. GreenPower Motor Company worked with Governor Jim Justice to bring a manufacturing facility to Charleston. As of December 2023, their first buses have been made and are going out to schools.

According to Delegate Christopher Toney, these electric buses will be able to help more people than just our students. It will help create more jobs in coal production.

“Approximately 91% of all of our electricity come from coal, so these vehicles must be plugged up at nighttime and in between runs that uses coal for their and then also have their they’re metallurgical coal. The steel is in the vehicle,” said Christopher Toney, delegate for West Virginia’s 43rd district. “One of the opportunities for this company coming here was we were coal production. They’re able to cut down on their cost because they can get it straight from us for the steel company rather than going overseas somewhere. So they’re able to use our coal to make the steel that we use on these vehicles in South Charleston.”

Watch the 5 pm update here: https://youtu.be/FAI3CcPThiM

Watch full story with Newswatch Anchor Serena Davanzo live with the details

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