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DATTCO unveils CT’s first electric school bus in Middletown


MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH)– Connecticut’s first electric school bus was unveiled Monday in Middletown.

Outside it looks like regular school bus, but if you closer look underneath the hood, you’ll see the difference.

“Five sodium chlorine batteries. No diesel. No gas,” said Don DeVivo, President, DATTCO.

You’re looking at a Collins Type A All-Electric School Bus. The first in Connecticut and part of Middletown’s fleet.

“Cost efficiency, energy efficient, cutting down on air pollution. This is the future of education,” said Superintendent Michael Conner.

New Britain based DATTCO, one of Connecticut’s largest bus companies, was awarded a grant from the state energy department. The introduction of this vehicle means there’s now one less diesel bus on Middletown’s roads.

“The real difference to be made is with school buses, with fleet vehicles,” said Mayor Ben Florsheim.

The bus gets plugged in at the end of the day. It has one electric motor. State officials have deemed it “environmentally transformative” in its potential to reduce respiratory illnesses like asthma in communities of color.

At over $300,000, it costs five times more than its counterparts. But since you don’t have to pay for gas and maintenance like oil changes, they say it saves money in the long run.

“If you bought a 50” television eight years ago, it was like $8,000. Now you can buy ‘em for $400. We think the same thing is going to happen with this technology,” said DeVivo.

The hope is to add a full size version in the fall.

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