SAN FRANCISCO, June 17 (Xinhua) -- The western U.S. state of Washington launched the first all-electric school bus in Tacoma city, in the state's Pierce County, on Monday.
The launch of the first electric school bus for the district is part of a pilot program to deliver the clean transportation bill that Governor Jay Inslee has recently signed to encourage Washingtonians to opt for electric driving on the roads.
"It's exciting to celebrate the first electric school bus in Washington state, because this effort is, ultimately, all about our kids and their future" as the state is already electrifying planes, trains, ferries and automobiles, Inslee said.
The electric bus was purchased with 330,155 U.S. dollars from TransAlta's Centralia Coal Transition Grants.
The governor's office said the state's Department of Ecology will earmark 13.3 million dollars to help several local transit agencies to purchase dozens of zero-emission, battery-powered electric buses.
Washington will invest more than 12 million dollars in low-emission school buses and 9.4 million dollars in another 19 electric transit buses, said the governor's office.
The buses, if purchased, will more than double the number of electric buses currently on Washington's roads and eliminate 68,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, in addition to cutting nitrogen oxide emissions by 70 tons over the lifetime of the vehicles.
Washington has been enforcing one of the most aggressive initiatives in the country to switch to green transportation in its fight against climate change, with an ambitious goal of 50,000 e-vehicles on the roads by 2020.