By Shawna Khalafi

DENVER (CBS4)– Denver Public Schools now has its first electric school bus. The school district hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday morning at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Early College.

(credit: CBS)

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It’s just one of several schools the bus will serve in northeast Denver. The electric bus is nicknamed “Elvis,” which stands for Electric Vehicle in Service.

The district says it will reduce diesel exhaust emissions, and it is projected to save more than $30,000 in fuel costs and $30,000 in maintenance costs over the next 15 years.

(credit: CBS)

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“Zero-emission electric buses can help decrease air pollution, ground-level ozone, and air quality-related illnesses and incidents of asthma in the communities that these buses serve,” said environmental science teacher Caitlin Vallalar.

The total cost of the electric bus is about $380,000, but DPS says the grant reimbursement from the Colorado Alt Fuels Program covers about $315,000 of the cost.

So the electric bus is less expensive for the district than a new diesel bus, which costs about $120,000.

(credit: CBS)

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Denver Public Schools also recently submitted another application to get grant funding for three more electric buses.

Shawna Khalafi