Knoxville/ Transportation & Infrastructure
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Published on April 03, 2024
Union County and KUB Launch Electric School Buses in Knoxville Area, Advancing Green Initiatives in EducationSource: Google Street View

Union County is shifting gears towards a greener future as it rolls out the first electric school buses to hit the streets in the Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB) service area. The move, announced on Tuesday, is part of the county’s ongoing efforts to weave innovative technology into the educational fabric of the community.

According to details from a WVLT report, each of the buses can carry 71 passengers and boasts a range of 135 miles on a single charge. Greg Clay, Director of Schools at Union County Public Schools, highlighted the initiative as a step further beyond the classroom, that ensures "[Union County students have access to innovative technologies]."

In collaboration with KUB, the school district has successfully installed the necessary electric vehicle charging infrastructure. This was made possible by a federal push towards cleaner transportation options, where Union County was one of the ten recipients within Tennessee to benefit from an EPA Clean School Bus Rebate. The buses will primarily serve students attending Paulette Elementary School and are a testament to the local commitment to environmentally friendly practices.

KUB President and CEO Gabriel J. Bolas expressed his excitement over the partnership, "We are proud to remove barriers to electric vehicle adoption, any time we can, and we are especially proud to support the first electric school buses serving our customers," as mentioned by WBIR. Bolas added, that the dual focus on the betterment of student resources and the pursuit of a "greener future" are causes for genuine pride within the community.

The imagery of the new electric buses was shared by KUB, capturing attention with its visual declaration of a tech-forward educational system, which other WATE coverage also echoed as a significant leap towards injecting up-and-coming technologies into students' daily lives. This move is not just a lesson in sustainability, it's a live demonstration of Union County's dedication to forward-think, aligning with a broader, national push towards the reduction of fossil fuel dependence in public transportation.