REMC and NC's Electric Cooperatives Facilitate first-ever Electric Bus in the State
Photos from the event can be found at this link.
Asheboro, N.C., January 25, 2023 - On Tuesday, January 24, Randolph County School System hosted a ribbon-cutting celebration at the Randolph County Board of Education. The event showcased the partnerships that brought the first-ever electric school bus in North Carolina to Randolph County.
Randolph EMC and N.C.’s Electric Cooperatives partnered with the N.C. Department of Public Instruction to obtain $277,000 in Volkswagen settlement funding for the all-electric school bus, manufactured by Thomas Built Buses. The new bus will serve a route in southwestern Randolph County.
Randolph EMC has provided a DC Fast charger and related electrical infrastructure for the bus on the campus of Southwestern Randolph Middle School. REMC will analyze how charging the electric bus affects the electric grid and Randolph County School System’s electric bill. The pilot project will serve as a case study for future applications of electric vehicle technology across the state.
Dr. Stephen Gainey, superintendent of Randolph County School System, welcomed board of education members, representatives of Carolina Thomas and Thomas Built Buses, the secretaries of the N.C. Departments of Public Instruction and Environmental Quality and Randolph EMC’s board of directors as well as members of the press to the event.
REMC’s Director of Innovative Energy Solutions Michael Trent described the journey to this celebration by recalling his original discussions in 2019 with Wendy Anderson, the director of transportation for Randolph County Schools, and Michael Youth, associate general counsel of N.C.’s Electric Cooperatives.
This year, 2023, marks our eighty-fifth anniversary,” said Trent. “REMC was founded by several concerned individuals who sought to improve the quality of life of rural North Carolinians through electrification. Today, REMC continues to partner with key organizations to bring value to the community.”
Secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality Elizabeth Biser explained that the eBus is the first of 49 currently in the production for North Carolina public schools. She applauded Randolph County School System for taking delivery of the first-ever electric bus in North Carolina.
Kevin Harrison, section chief at the Department of Public Instruction, noted the benefits of the eBus, including cleaner air and reduced noise for students, bus drivers and communities.
Roy Parks, regional sales manager at Carolina Thomas, LLC, commemorated this “historic and exciting day” by presenting Dr. Gainey with a plaque of the eBus, complete with a photo and VIN number of the vehicle.
The partnerships represented here today demonstrate the dedication of those organizations that care about the future of their communities,” said Dr. Gainey. “Together, we’ll make this pilot program a success for the state of North Carolina.”