Saturday, May 18
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Randolph County School System First to Receive Electric Bus

Left to right: Phillip Lanier, Randolph County Board of Education member; Michael Trent, Director of Innovative Energy Solutions, Randolph Electric Membership Corp.; Roy Parks, Western Regional Sales Manager, Carolina Thomas; Dr. Stephen Gainey, Superintendent, Randolph County School System; Elizabeth Biser, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality; Shannon Whitaker, Randolph County Board of Education member; Kevin Harrison, Section Chief, Office of District Operations, NC Department of Public Instruction (Credit: Randolph County Schools)

ASHEBORO N.C. – The Randolph County School System (RCSS) is the first public school district in our state to receive an electric school bus as part of a new pilot program funded by the N.C. Volkswagen Settlement Program.

Five school districts in North Carolina are set to receive new low-emission or no-emission electric school buses as part of a pilot program funded by more than $30 million from the N.C. Volkswagen Settlement Program.

The program will fund a total of 161 new school buses across the state, with forty-three of those going toward new electric school buses. (The full list of awarded projects funded by the settlement is available on DEQ’s website.)

On January 24th, 2022, The Randolph County School System held a ribbon cutting and unveiling for the electric bus, made by Thomas Built Buses, based in Thomasville.

Dr. Stephen Gainey, Superintendent, Randolph County School System, receives plaque from Roy Parks, Western Regional Sales Manager, Carolina Thomas (Credit: Randolph County Schools)

The event was attended by Dr. Stephen Gainey – Superintendent Randolph County School System, Michael Trent – Director of Innovative Energy Solutions for Randolph Electric Membership Corporation, Elizabeth Biser – Secretary of Department of Environmental Quality, Roy Parks – Western Regional Sales Manager, Carolina Thomas, among others.

The new zero-emission and low-emission school buses are replacing some of the dirtiest diesel buses in the state, including some older than 30 years that emit more than twenty times the nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter of today’s clean buses, said the Govenor’s office in a press release back in October of 2022 when the program was announced.

Nitrogen oxides (NOx) a diesel emissions and greenhouse gas leads to the formation of ground-level ozone, which in turn aggravates asthma and can cause breathing trouble in young children and older adults. The small particles that make up particulate matter are linked to heart and lung conditions.

(Credit: Randolph County Schools)

A charging station is located at Southwestern Randolph Middle School and the bus will be used at either Southwestern Randolph Middle or Southwestern Randolph High School.

No exact date for when the bus will start picking up students has been announced.