NextEra Energy has agreed to pursue the electrification of the transit and school buses sector in U.S. and Canada, in a joint effort with key players of the sector: First Student and First Transit, the world’s largest school and public transportation operators.
The framework, announced by NextEra this Tuesday, establish an agreement to foster innovation and to accelerate the adoption of new technologies in this sector, as this transition is expected to play a vital role in further net-zero and decarbonization efforts.
With market leaders such as First Transit and First Student, NextEra will be able to provide its renewable energy and infrastructure solutions for the improvement of air quality and the environmental health of U.S and Canadian communities.
According to the statement, the U.S. and Canada fleet of student buses is the largest market in the world, with approximately 520,000 yellow school buses. Over the years, the size of the fleet and the market has remained consistent in size, therefore, the joint effort will tackle key potential benefits.
It will increase the demand for pollution-free school buses; it will expand infrastructure of charging units, storage and grid connection; As buses have a predictable schedule, the energy used in them will be optimized to the highest levels, through power charging technology to both balance the grid and offer an efficient service.
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Electric school buses for 40 U.S. states and 7 canadian provinces
These market opportunities are precisely the ones to be tackled by the NextEra, First Student and First Transit agreement. The fleet to be tackled in the first place is going to be First Student’s; of over 43,000 units in 40 U.S. states and seven Canadian provinces.
“Combining this scale with NextEra Energy Resources’ expertise is anticipated to help accelerate electrification from individual pilots to broader fleet rollout across the U.S. and Canada,” company statement reads.
For the public transportation sector, First Transit has one the world’s largest fleets, with 160,000 units. The collaboration will focus on Fist Transit’s base of more than 300 customers to create new opportunities of business and electrification.
John Ketchum, CEO of NextEra, said in this regard. “The growing shift away from internal combustion engines is expected to drive over one fifth of U.S. energy demand by 2050. Working with First Student and First Transit will enable future investments in electrification upgrades and charging stations, as well as energy management services.”
While Paul Osland, president of First Student, concluded: “The electrification of school buses has already started and is poised to accelerate rapidly. This collaboration will position First Student as North America’s leading owner and operator of electric school buses.”