Seven Michigan school districts are expected to receive 17 electric buses Thursday—a first for the state. 

The electric school buses will be unveiled on Thursday in Lansing. 

Zeeland Public Schools—a project manager for the Fuel Transformation grant—will be one of the districts to get the new buses. Other districts to receive the electric buses include Ann Arbor, Gaylord, Kalamazoo, Oxford, Roseville and Three Rivers. 

With the electric buses, children's exposure to harmful diesel exhaust fumes "drops to zero," Michigan's Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) said. 

"Diesel emissions from older buses are not only immediately harmful to Michigan’s children, but also impact climate and contribute to long term damage to the environment," EGLE said. 

By using electric buses, there also won't be any fumes from buses idling near schools. 

"It gives us a chance to see how much the air is cleaner by how many miles we went by using graphs and charts and see the air is much cleaner," said Dave Meeuwsen with Zeeland Public Schools.

The diesel bus replacement project is financed in part by a Volkswagen Mitigation Settlement allocation through EGLE's Fuel Transformation Program. 

Contaminants from diesel exhaust include more than 40 substances listed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as either hazardous air pollutants or criteria pollutants. 

The Fuel Transformation Program also has grants to replace older diesel vehicles and equipment including replacing old school buses with propane, clean diesel or hybrid models. 

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