ST. CLOUD -- Zero-emission public transportation is the way of the future, and a St. Cloud company is leading the effort. New Flyer of America says they've just signed a contract to build eight battery-electric buses for Minneapolis.

New Flyer's Director of Sustainable Transportation David Warren says the up-front cost to build the bus is more expensive, but the costs even out through energy savings and less maintenance.

He says eventually most major cities will convert to zero-emission options.

Over time, which may be a 12-year time frame, a majority of the buses in the U.S. will convert to electric propulsion.  Cities such as Los Angeles have made commitments to go fully zero emissions, and we expect other large cities to follow suit.

Warren says New Flyer has been building battery-electric buses for six years, and are already being used in major cities like Chicago, Washington D.C., and New York City.

Warren says the buses are capable of going at least 100 miles without recharging.

The charging technology and buses for Minneapolis are being supported by a $1.75 million federal grant.

They are scheduled to be on the streets of Minneapolis by next year.