Companies tout transit electrification initiative

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First Student, Inc., First Transit, Inc., and NextEra Energy Resources, LLC are espousing the benefits of a collaboration designed to yield electrification of school and public transportation vehicles across America and Canada.

The entities have established a framework agreement and are working toward a joint venture uniting North America’s market leaders in school and public transportation and renewable energy. Officials noted the effort would foster innovation and accelerate the mass adoption of zero-emission vehicles.

The companies maintain that transitioning to electric vehicles for the school and public transportation sector would play a critical role in aiding communities in improving air quality and environmental health for student passengers, transit riders, and area residents.

Additionally, utilizing the batteries of school and public transportation electric vehicle fleets for distributed energy storage and grid services possesses the potential to make a significant contribution to long-term sustainable clean energy transition in North America.

“We are proud to take this significant step to improve the environmental health of our student passengers and the communities we serve,”
First Student President Paul Osland said. “We have found a world-class partner in NextEra Energy Resources, who shares our vision of the importance that electrification and zero emission technologies will play in the future of student transportation.”

NextEra Energy Resources President and CEO John Ketchum said the growing shift away from internal combustion engines is expected to drive over one-fifth of domestic energy demand by 2050.

“Working with First Student and First Transit will enable future investments in electrification upgrades and charging stations, as well as energy management services,” he said. “This collaboration is consistent with our strategy as we continue to explore potential opportunities for electric and hydrogen transformation of the transportation sector.”