PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) — Mercer County Schools will become the first in Southern West Virginia to test out the new electric school bus on Wednesday, September 7, 2022.

The school system held a press conference to showcase the EV bus and talk about what it means to the schools and the state.

Mercer County Schools Superintendent Ed Toman said he thinks it’s a great way to start looking toward the future.

“Everywhere you turn you see something that’s done differently and if we can do it better and smarter, that’s great but again it’s about innovation and it’s a chance to try this and see,” Toman said.

The bus was made by Green Power Motor Company which is stationed in South Charleston. The company plans to become a major source of electric vehicles.

Mark Nestlen, Vice President of Business Development and Strategy for Green Power Motor Company, said he’s glad the Mountain State welcomed their company with open arms.

“The state of West Virginia wanted to be a partner with us in producing these vehicles in the state of West Virginia to bring the jobs and economic activity to the state and everyone in the state from the governor to the superintendent in Mercer County has been with us all along,” Nestlen said.

Bus Operator Tony White will be the first driver to pick up and drop students off in the new EV.

White said there’s a big difference between driving normal combustion vehicles and their new electric counterparts… the sound.

“It’s six inches wider than a normal bus but it’s quiet. You don’t even hear it, I mean it’s quiet but it’s just new so I’m excited to learn more about it,” White said.

Superintendent Toman said he plans to ride along with the children on their first day on the electric bus.