EVs still have some obstacles to overcome before they can overtake their gasoline-powered brethren. But auto manufacturers are making headway. One of the last frontiers of electric vehicles is public transportation. However, GreenPower Motor Company has a head start.
And a certain multi-billionaire is helping push things along by aligning with this little-known company.
GreenPower is turning public transportation green
Tesla may be the best-known EV brand and the first to make headlines by building an electric truck, but it’s not the only company trying to kick the gasoline. GreenPower has been striving to do just this since 2010. But rather than specializing in luxury cars that no one can afford, GreenPower makes affordable buses and trucks. Some of GreenPower’s concentration areas are delivery, public transit, schools, vanpools, micro-transit, and shuttles.
It wasn’t until 2014 when GreenPower released its first vehicle, the EV350, a 40-foot transit bus. Since then, it has added many other EVs to its lineup. GreenPower builds each of its EVs from the ground up rather than trying to convert gas-powered vehicles. That means no surprises down the road.
The EV Star is GreenPower’s star
The EV Star is GreenPower’s flagship. It can hold 19 passengers, travel 150 miles between charges, has ADA wheelchair provisions, and even handle cargo delivery.
The EV Star is not the only GreenPower bus to turn heads, though. School kids will doubtless get a kick when they learn their new electric school bus is called the BEAST. It can travel up to 100 miles between charges, which can save school systems tons of money in fuel costs.
The EV Star+ can outdo its older sibling by carrying up to 24 passengers. Those who use a wheelchair will be delighted with the ADA side lift. There are also plenty of emergency exits: one on the door, the window, the hatch, and even the roof.
GreenPower hasn’t stopped there. The EV250 can carry 21 passengers, plus two wheelchairs. Not to be outdone, the EV350 can carry up to 40 passengers and two wheelchairs.
However, the EV550 is the real showstopper. This 45-foot low-floor double-decker bus can carry up to 100 passengers seated and provides plenty of standing room.
The Buffett connection
There’s nothing like having a multi-billionaire in your corner to boost your stock. That seems to be what’s happened to GreenPower.
The Motley Fool recently reported, “GreenPower announced entering into an exclusive purchase agreement to supply up to 150 EV Star Cab and Chassis units to Forest River, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. Legendary investor Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha, is the long-serving CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.
“GP will deliver the first six units during the first quarter of this year and will complete the order over the next 36 months at a run rate that will be determined by the third quarter of 2021.”
Buffett has shown interest in utilizing electric buses for a while, and his opting to partner with a little-known company like GreenPower only adds to the intrigue. His involvement will undoubtedly help the firm continue to grow and might even tempt other automakers to enter this new arena as well.
But the competition will have to play catch-up. In an interview with Bloomberg, GreenPower CEO Fraser Atkinson said the company is also working on autonomous vehicles. Though it isn’t the first automaker to try this, GreenPower is one of the frontrunners in public transportation.