On Monday, November 26, 2018, Bellflower Unified School District celebrated their acquisition of the first two electric school buses from the Blue Bird Factory line in the state of California. The District worked in partnership with the South Coast Air Quality Management District, Blue Bird Corporation, and A-Z Bus Sales to acquire the buses. District personnel were joined in their celebrations by Bellflower USD School Board President Laura Sanchez-Ramirez, School Board Member Dr. Sue El Hessen, Mayor Pro Tem for Bellflower City Council Sonny Santa Inez, Bellfower USD Bond Committee Member Linda Morgan, Blue Bird Reprsentative Carol Dietrich, South Coast Air Quality Management representative Vasketn Yademian, Steven Nagy representing California assembly member Linda Sanchez's office, and John Larder and Brandon Bluhm from A-Z Bus Sales.
The new electric buses can be charged via the same electrical charging stations as electric cars. The buses can travel up to 100 miles before they need to be recharged. They also possess a regenerative braking system, which allows the buses to recapture most of the energy used to slow the buses down when braking by converting this energy to electricity which can be used to charge the batteries on the bus. This helps extend the distance the buses can travel between charges as well.
The South Coast Air Quality Mangement District partnered with BUSD through the Electric School Bus Grant. This grant enabled BUSD to install the majority of the infrastructure needed to charge the buses as well as purchase the buses themselves.
The addition of the electric school buses continues to help the District move towards minimizing the emissions from its fleet. The District's fleet of buses now runs entirely on alternative fuels.