FAIRFIELD — In November of 2018, the White Plains Public School District unveiled its new Lion electric school buses, which get 66 miles per charge and, most critically do not emit any diesel fumes for students to breathe in. Diesel emissions are a known carcinogen, and the city wanted to protect its students and reduce its carbon footprint.

Thanks to collaboration between operator National Express and the Con Edison utility to take on the $500,000 purchase price of the buses, there was no cost to the city. The buses have been in service for a whole school year, and get a big thumbs-up from White Plains City School District Supervisor of Transportation Sergio Alfonso.

One of White Plains’ electric school buses will be coming to Fairfield Sept. 14 as part of the town’s Green Wheels Expo, sponsored by the Sustainable Fairfield Task Force. The event takes place at the commuter parking lot at 140 Mill Plain Road from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and it’s free.

The expo, the largest of its kind in the state celebrating National Drive Electric Week, will bring together EVs from local dealers, with the public welcome to take test rides. In addition to the White Plains bus, there will be such electric cars as the BMW i8 Roadster, the Audi e-tron, the Chevrolet Bolt, the Tesla Model 3, and many more, plus electric bikes, motorcycles and boats. There will be food vendors, informational displays about public transit and carpooling, and expert talks.

Battery-powered school buses cost $200,000 to $400,000, compared to $100,000 to $150,000 for a standard diesel, but the EV versions are much cheaper to operate and maintain, yielding savings over time. They also offer the opportunity to generate revenue by storing power for utility partners in the summer, when school buses are idle. California, with its smoggy skies, is only one of the states that subsidizes electric school buses, and there is also money available from the nearly $3 billion Volkswagen diesel emissions settlement.

For more information on the Green Wheels Expo, visit the SFTF web page at www.fairfieldct.org/sftf or the National Drive Electric Week page at https://driveelectricweek.org/event.php?eventid=1596.