First Student and the Lion Electric Company, a manufacturer of all-electric medium and heavy-duty urban vehicles, have announced that First Student is to take 260 LionC electric school buses.
The largest order of school buses by a single customer in Lion’s history, it will make First Student one of the largest operators of zero-emission school buses in North America. Deliveries will take place beginning in the second half of 2021 and continue until mid-2023. The buses will be used by Transco, First Student’s subsidiary that operates in Quebec.
“Today marks a new step in the adoption of zero-emission school buses,” said Marc Bedard, CEO and Founder of Lion. “First Student’s leadership demonstrates that zero-emission technology is here to meet the needs of the market at scale, as is our production capacity – we are not talking about pilot programs, but rather entire bus fleets going electric, with vehicles that meet the daily requirements of the industry’s largest operators.”
First Student already operates a number of Lion electric school buses. As part of the purchase, Lion Energy will work with First Student on the installation of necessary infrastructure to support the buses. “We are proud to take this significant step to improve the environmental health of our student passengers and the communities we serve,” said First Student President Paul Osland. “First Student embraces the importance that electrification and zero-emission technologies will play in the future of student transportation. The electrification of school buses has already started and is poised to accelerate rapidly. This work with Lion Electric is an important step to position First Student as North America’s leading owner and operator of electric school buses.”
“We long have been at the forefront of developing and implementing innovations in transportation,” added First Student’s Senior Vice President of Strategy, Business Development, Marketing and Communications, Claire Miller. “Now, as the largest operator of zero-emission school buses in North America, we will play a critical role in helping communities improve air quality and environmental health for passengers and the community. With the purchase of 260 buses, everyone wins. We cannot wait to start bringing them online soon.”
Benoit Morin, Vice President of Sales, Canada, at Lion, said: “We are very excited to be putting the buses into operation in our own backyard here in Quebec, where soon an electric school bus will be a common sight. Getting children excited about zero-emission technologies today sets them up for a lifetime of climate advocacy, to the benefit of their communities and the planet.”
Over the last decade, Lion has delivered over 390 electric heavy-duty vehicles in North America with over 7 million miles driven since 2016.