Martinsville ISD Leads Texas with First All-Electric School Bus Fleet: A Leap Towards Cleaner Air and Education

Texas school principal Keith Kimbrough was shopping for a new school bus when he spotted a chance to help his school save money and have cleaner air. He needed to replace the aging diesel buses and their fumes, which he knew were tied to causing cancer, asthma, and heart disease. That’s when he learned about a federal grant to swap old diesel school buses for new electric ones. 

Electric buses don’t come cheap. The price tag for a single electric bus: is $400,000! That’s about three to four times the cost of a diesel bus. Residents were skeptical, but Keith managed to win hearts and minds with a plan showing how the switch to electric buses would save 70% on bus maintenance costs.  With the blessings of the administration and the town, he applied for the grant and his school received $1.6 million, enough for four electric buses and a charging infrastructure.

Martinsville ISD Principal Keith Kimbrough pictured with a Blue Bird Vision electric bus, and Nuvve Level 2 charger.

In operation since last October, the new buses are already a hit. Eighth-grader Yamilet Garcia says the new buses are much quieter and don’t “smell weird.” The new buses are used daily, reducing pollution and saving money on fuel and upkeep. The old diesel buses are still used for longer school trips. 

The savings mean more cash for the school, maybe even a new teacher. Keith’s move to electric buses is a smart step for his Texas town. It’s a win for the students’ health, their learning environment, their town, and the planet.