Electric School Bus Converter Turns to ‘Crowdfunding’

An electric motor installed by ADOMANI in a Blue Bird All American school bus for Gilroy Unified School District south of San Francisco. The company raised more than $100,000 with the hope of winning an RFP to provide a similar electric bus to Stockton Unified.

It took less than three weeks for ADOMANI, Inc. to surpass its goal to raise $100,000 in the hope of converting a diesel-powered school bus into electric for a northern California school district.

The green vehicle technology company turned the power of the Internet toward the promise of a zero-emissions transportation solution for schoolchildren. Edward Monfort, president of ADOMANI, used the website GoFundMe.com and posted a video to illustrate the electric-bus project in soliciting donations. As of this writing, the company has raised $150,500 from 37 donations.

An ADOMANI spokesman explained that the crowdfunding proceeds would be used to finish the vehicle-to-grid electric conversion, with the remaining funds requested from the California Air Resources Board and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.

The ADOMANI crowdfunding project began in response to an RFP issued by the pollution control district for a zero-emissions school bus.

“In many cases, RFP respondents are required to provide matching funds. Generous donations like through GoFundMe may help future school districts like the Stockton Unified School District,” said Kevin Fanning, COO at ADOMANI, which is based in Los Altos, California. “This will definitely help defray the cost of converting existing school buses.”

Once the retrofit to theType D Blue Bird All American RE is completed and the bus is put into service, ADOMANI projects it will save the school district $160,000 over 10 years based on reduced fuel and maintenance costs.

“These are exciting times for the electric bus industry,” said ADOMANI CEO Jim Reynolds in a statement. “The number of school and commercial applications for this product is growing every day.”

ADOMANI has already converted two school buses from diesel to electric power, including one for Gilroy Unified School District, located about 100 miles southwest of Stockton.