On September 12, 2019, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) announced an award of $4.2 million to go towards the Michigan Association for Pupil Transportation Electric School Bus Pilot Project. Lion Electric was selected as the manufacturer for the pilot program and will provide 11 electric school buses throughout the state. The first buses are expected to be in operation by Fall 2019 and will be deployed in areas that suffer disproportionate air pollution burdens. The buses will also be equipped with technology to enable bi-directional vehicle-to-grid power exchange. This will enable Michigan utilities to draw power from the bus batteries during peak demand periods.
This pilot program represents the first school bus award made by the state through the VW Settlement funds. Michigan is only the fifth state to use settlement funds to invest in electric school buses. This award more than doubles the $4 million of VW Settlement funds invested in this technology to date.