Iconic yellow schoolbus gets electrified

The Newton eTrans can carry 42 passengers up to 120 miles on a single charge at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour.

Smith Electric Vehicles and Trans Tech Bus have teamed up to create the first all-electric school bus.

Called the Newton eTrans, the 42-passenger bus can travel up to 120 miles on a single charge, operating at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. That is good for most urban routes. The bus uses Smith Power lithium-ion battery technology and regenerative braking technology, which transfers energy from the brake to the battery.

Bryan Hansel, president and CEO of Smith Electric Vehicles, said there are currently about 480,000 school buses on the road in the United States that burn up to 822 million gallons of diesel fuel annually.

"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," he said.

This is the first foray into the electric school bus market for Trans Tech Bus, which has been focusing on environmentally friend transportation alternatives. Hmmm. I wonder what it will be like not to hear all those buses idling in front of the school at the end of the day. Remember that sound?

The first Newton eTrans buses will get their assignment to hit the road in early 2012.


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