Nuvve and Stonepeak Make Plans for Electric Buses
Leveraging School Buses for EV Power
Electric vehicle charging company Nuvve (NVVE) and PE firm Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners are creating a joint venture to speed up the adoption of electric school buses. Under terms of the deal, Stonepeak Infrastructure and its portfolio company, Evolve Transition Infrastructure, will invest as much as $750 million in the new business, which will be named Levo Mobility. Stonepeak will own 49% of the company while Nuvve will own 51%.
Nuve, which went public via a SPAC deal in March 2021, has a unique technology which it believes will work well with school buses. The company stores energy from electric vehicles’ batteries and sends it to the grid to charge parked and plugged-in electric vehicles.
Nuvve’s technology, known as vehicle-to-grid charging, is designed to overcome demands placed on the power grid by electric vehicles. Nuvve creates what it calls a “virtual power plant” by storing electric vehicles’ battery energy and pooling it with other batteries to send power to charging stations.
Because school buses are parked for the majority of the day, the company thinks it can use them to store significant amounts of energy and reduce emissions. There are about 480,000 school buses which use diesel fuel to transport children to and from school in the US, amounting to 5.3 million tons of greenhouse gases emitted annually.
Biden Earmarks $25 Billion for Electric Buses
Levo’s focus on school buses is timely given that President Biden has earmarked $25 billion from his $2.3 trillion proposed infrastructure bill for electric school buses. Nuvve and Stonepeak estimate about 20% of the nation’s school buses could be switched to EVs with the $25 billion. Levo will lease new buses to school districts instead of selling them outright. With the leases, schools get vehicle-to-grid charging infrastructure and maintenance.
Looking ahead, Levo plans to expand beyond school buses and wants to use its technology for last-mile delivery, ride-hailing, and municipal services. As more industries look for ways to go green, Levo could be well-positioned to help them.
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