Electrification Goes to School: Promoting Electric School Buses Through a Health Lens

February 14, 2020

Most Americans think of cars when they hear the phrase “electric vehicle.” Heavy-duty vehicles, such as buses and semi-trailers, are often left out of the conversation despite the fact that they produce nearly a quarter of the transportation sector’s pollution. The loud, hulking vehicles belching toxic fumes in communities are ignored. 

Resource Media is working with advocates across the country to help Americans understand the huge benefits of shifting away from gas-powered vehicles to clean, electric transportation options. As part of that work, we want to open people’s eyes to the fact that shifting to EVs benefits everyone—not just EV drivers—and especially those communities who suffer the worst impacts from air pollution. As we weighed our storytelling options, electric school buses emerged as a powerful way to help all of us understand both what’s at stake, and what we have to gain, from going all-electric.

Imagine this: a line of kids waiting outside a school while buses queue up to take them home. The air is thick with diesel exhaust, and the din of several large idling diesel engines fills the air. This a familiar scenario to families around the country whose kids ride the bus to school. And it’s a scary picture when you consider that diesel exhaust contains over three dozen chemicals that are classified by the federal government as “hazardous air pollutants.” These pollutants can cause respiratory illnesses. Trips to the doctor’s office and emergency room visits put a financial strain on working families. Chronically ill children miss school and fall behind on work.

Now imagine the same scenario, but instead of idling diesel buses, the kids are waiting in line to get on clean, electric buses. The air is clear—not a whiff of exhaust—and the quiet hum of electric engines and tires on pavement is background noise to the chatter of school kids.

To help illustrate this scenario, Resource Media developed a visual fact sheet, offering both English and Spanish language versions, showing the benefits of replacing diesel school buses with electric buses. Designed for use in any e-school bus campaign, the unbranded fact sheet promotes electric bus adoption while expanding America’s electrification story to reflect its larger societal benefits. 

Diesel school buses will continue to put children at risk for a long list of chronic illnesses as long as they’re polluting American communities. If you’re interested in using this visual fact sheet in your own campaign to promote e-school bus adoption, please download the PDF below, and feel free to add your own campaign URL in the writable field provided for you. We’d love to know where the fact sheet gets used – please reach out to us to let us know!

Download the fact sheet here: https://www.resource-media.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/RM_Diesel-v-EV-Buses_FINAL.pdf