School bus company First Student, public transportation company First Transit, and electricity supplier NextEra Energy Resources are working toward a joint venture to pursue the electrification of tens of thousands of school and public transportation vehicles in the US and Canada.

The transition to electric vehicles for the school and public transportation sector is expected to play a significant role in helping communities improve air quality and environmental health. In addition, using the sizeable batteries of school and public transportation electric vehicle fleets for distributed energy storage and grid services has the potential to make a significant contribution to long-term sustainable clean energy transition in North America.

First Student runs a fleet of 43,000 yellow school buses, the largest in North America, and nearly 500 depots located across 40 US states and seven Canadian provinces. Combining this scale with the expertise of NextEra Energy Resources is anticipated by the companies to help accelerate electrification from individual pilots to broader fleet rollout across the US and Canada.

“With battery and electric vehicle prices falling rapidly, and with an increasing focus on sustainability, many fleets are preparing for wholesale electrification,” said Brad Thomas, president of First Transit. “The collaboration with NextEra Energy Resources will position First Transit as the leading provider of sustainable passenger transportation solutions in North America.”

John Ketchum, president and CEO of NextEra Energy Resources adds, “Working with First Student and First Transit will enable future investments in electrification upgrades and charging stations, as well as energy management services.”