FORT PAYNE, Ala. (WAFF) - When students return to school on Aug. 10, two new electric school buses manufactured by BusWorx will be used as transportation, thanks to grant by Volkswagen Settlement.
Transportation Director, Dr. Laran Adkins wrote the grant and received around $1 million. Twenty percent of the funds were matched by the district.
Fort Payne is the only school district in the state of Alabama and in the southeast to purchase electric buses, according to school leaders.
Superintendent Jim Cunningham said the school district was also able to purchase two new diesel buses.
“This year we’re getting four new buses, so that enhances our fleet and allows us to look at exactly what we have to do next year. With us picking up four this time it eliminates the need for two next year and saves money,” said Cunningham.
All school buses will be equipped with WiFi and will be better equipped to cover routes in rural areas.
“These specific buses will run an in town route which is about 12 miles from beginning to end. These school buses have a 100 mile range and that’s with the air conditioning running, so it keeps the kids cool the entire day and they can come back charge there buses. It will take about 2 hours to get them back up to 100 percent charged,” said Hall Lundberg with north Alabama sales for BusWorx.
Additionally, the electric buses also have back up camera's to help the drivers, flip up seats and air filtration systems.
“That eliminates bacteria, viruses and that type of thing that students can breathe through our air conditioning on all of our buses and every bus we have is air conditioned,” said Cunnigham.
The school buses have a seven-year warranty, eight-year warranty for battery and 10 to 12-year life span.
Fort Payne City Schools was also awarded two checks totaling $200,000 to help purchase school supplies for students and teacher materials.