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Nevada gets its first electric school bus

The Clark County School District on Tuesday unveiled the first electric school bus in Nevada, which it will use to replace diesel-powered school buses in an effort to improve air quality in school communities.

Clark County, the fifth-largest school district in the country, also operates the country’s largest owned-and-operated school bus fleet, with 1,924 buses transporting 125,000 students every day.

The electric bus unveiled Tuesday was purchased using grant funds from NV Energy and the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, and will save roughly $60 a day in fuel costs. The district has purchased a second electric bus through a grant from the Clark County Division of Air Quality.

In May, the district announced it will receive nearly $10 million to purchase 25 electric buses to replace some of its diesel-powered school buses as part of the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean School Bus Program, which seeks to contribute to cleaner air in neighborhoods around schools.

The bus unveiled Tuesday is not yet in use but will serve students at Cimarron-Memorial High School, Katz Elementary School and Hollingsworth Elementary School. It could be operational as early as next week, according to Amber Rideout, the district’s director of operations for transportation.

The electric bus can seat 72 students and travel 100 miles when fully charged, and plans call for charging such buses in the morning, midday and at the end of the day, Rideout said.

Superintendent Jesus Jara called it an honor to innovate with the new buses.

“We can’t continue to do the same old, same old just because that’s the way we’ve always done it,” Jara said.

Contact Lorraine Longhi at 702-387-5298 or llonghi@reviewjournal.com. Follow her at @lolonghi on Twitter.

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