Smith Electric Vehicles announces availability of all-electric school bus

Smith Electric Vehicles, a leader in all-electric commercial vehicles, and Trans Tech Bus, a leading school bus manufacturer, have unveiled the nation’s first all-electric, zero-emission Newton eTrans.

The vehicle is available for order today and will be shipped in early 2012.

“America’s 480,000 school buses burn as estimated 822 million gallons of diesel fuel every year at a cost of nearly $3.2 billion,” said Bryan Hansel, president and CEO of Smith Electric Vehicles. “The Newton operates at one-third to one-half the cost of a traditional diesel, creating significant fuel cost savings for school districts in addition to the clear environmental and health benefits of all-electric, zero-emission transportation for students.”

Most school buses in the United States are powered with diesel fuel, the exhaust from which is classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as a likely human carcinogen and can contribute to acute and chronic health effects including asthma, allergies, or other respiratory problems including lung disease, he noted. The agency warns that children’s developing respiratory systems and faster breathing rates make them more susceptible to air pollution.

The 42-passenger Newton eTrans travels up to 120 miles on a single charge at speeds of up to 50 mph, ideal for the fixed routes in urban areas most school buses take each day. The bus also utilizes Smith Power, using the latest in lithium ion battery technology and regenerative braking technology that will transfer energy from the brakes to the batteries when the vehicle is in operation.

“This is an exciting time for Trans Tech Bus as we officially enter the electric school bus market with our eTrans product,” said Dan Daniels, president of Trans Tech Bus. “Our customers have been demanding an all-electric school bus that addresses environmental, health and fuel-cost concerns, and we’re proud to partner with Smith Electric Vehicles to bring it to them.”