The New Jersey Assembly and Senate have passed a bill (A1282 and S759) authorizing the state to spend $35 million to purchase electric school buses. This bill is now waiting for Governor Murphy’s signature.
Are electric school buses wise? There have been recent spontaneous lithium battery fires in buses in Germany and Paris. Electric vehicle lithium batteries have also randomly and spontaneously ignited. The attached article describes another spontaneous electric bus fire this past weekend which occurred in Connecticut which destroyed the bus. The fire has also has grounded the entire fleet of electric school buses. Fortunately, all buses have been empty and no one has been injured, but the fires suddenness and intensity show there would be few, if any, survivors.
Does the bill Governor Murphy will sign have any provisions for the bus manufacturers and operating companies to identity the manufacturing steps and operating procedures they are taking to prevent similar fires? If not, the bill should be revised to include these provisions. Parents placing children on these buses should know the specific actions being taken to minimize a fire.
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Seth Grossman, Executive Director