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NORMAL, Ala. – Alabama A&M wants to build a healthier environment on campus by reducing its carbon footprint.

AAMU added to new buses to its fleet in Wednesday’s ribbon cutting ceremony. It is the first in the state of Alabama and first university in the Southeast to replace its diesel buses with fully electric zero emission buses from zero-emission bus manufacturer Proterra.

Proterra director of commercial sales Bill Williams says students could start riding the electric buses by the start of the new year.

The company says replacing three to four diesel buses with electric buses saves about the same amount of energy as one average LEED-certified  building.

“Displacing diesel buses can save a lot of CO2 emissions and other environmental issues that diesel causes around,” said Williams, “So it’s going to be a healthier environment for the campus not having those fumes.”

By the end of 2020, the school would have replaced six of eight diesel buses. AAMU is currently working out a master plan to replace the remaining buses and build a new busing facility.