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WVa plant to start making electric school buses in September

June 3, 2022 GMT

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A Canadian electric school bus manufacturer will begin production at a West Virginia facility in September, officials said.

In January, GreenPower Motor Co. Inc. signed a lease-purchase agreement for a 9.5-acre (3.8 hectares) manufacturing facility in South Charleston. The company announced Thursday that it will take possession of the facility in August and start producing zero-emission buses the following month.

Gov. Jim Justice said at a news conference that his administration will work with the company to demonstrate the electric buses in school districts statewide.

Under President Joe Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan, the Environmental Protection Agency will offer rebates to school districts of up to $375,000 toward the purchase of larger electric buses and $285,000 for smaller ones to replace diesel-powered vehicles. An additional $20,000 per bus is available for battery-charging infrastructure, GreenPower spokesman Mark Nestlen said.

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“In essence, they can almost get those buses for free,” Nestlen said.

The buses can run 140 miles (225 kilometers) on a single charge and recharge in as little as 3.5 hours.

Vancouver, British Columbia-based GreenPower plans to hire up to 200 workers initially with the potential to add up to 900 new jobs when full production is reached in two years.