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Zum EV Program Manager Pallav Prakash Named 2024 School Transportation News Innovator of the Year

Company’s Clean Energy Expert Honored for Implementing Electric School Bus Conversion with Vehicle-to-Grid Technology

Dr. Pallav Prakash, EV Program Manager for Zūm, has been named the 2024 Innovator of the Year by Student Transportation News (STN).

This prestigious annual award, which “recognizes an individual who has made significant, tangible contributions to the industry” honors Prakash for his exceptional leadership and pioneering work to electrify Zum’s school bus fleets and deploy revolutionary vehicle-to-grid technology that is leading student transportation into the green era.

“The key to innovative success is having the right team, and I share this award with my outstanding colleagues and partners who have helped improve the lives of children and communities through student transportation,” said Prakash. “I am tremendously grateful to STN for this honor, and I am proud to dedicate my career to driving the clean energy sector forward.”

Prakash, a renowned expert in sustainable technology and clean energy infrastructure, led the team to launch the first major U.S. school district to have an all-electric school bus fleet with groundbreaking vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology at Oakland Unified School District in California.

“Dr. Prakash’s unmatched expertise and commitment to advancing sustainable practices makes him an integral part of Zum’s team – and an influential voice for our industry,” said Zum Founder and CEO Ritu Narayan. “His work promotes equitable clean energy access, improves environmental health, and creates safer student transportation. We are so proud that he has been named STN Innovator of the Year. It is a high honor for our leadership team in a landmark year for the company.”

With a distinguished academic background and 20+ years of leadership experience, Prakash’s role at Zum includes coordinating with educational institutions, local utilities, community stakeholders and regulators. His team’s project in Oakland set a new industry benchmark by successfully navigating the local utility permit process and completing the construction phase in record time.

In May, Zum announced that Oakland Unified School District will be the first major school district in the U.S. to transition to a 100% electrified school bus system. Additionally, the buses will be enabled with bidirectional charging that will send energy back to the grid. Among the many supporters of Zum’s mission is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which has awarded Zum $58 million in 2024 to deploy electric school buses in school districts nationwide.

“It is with great honor that we announce Dr. Prakash as the recipient of the 2024 STN Innovator of the Year award,” said Tony Corpin, President and Publisher of STN Media Group. “Dr. Prakash’s visionary work in deploying electric school buses equipped with Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology across the USA stands as a testament to his outstanding commitment to advancing sustainable transportation solutions. His efforts not only enhance the operational efficiency of school transportation but also significantly contribute to environmental sustainability.”

Prakash will receive his award at STN’s Green Bus Summit on July 14 in Reno, Nevada. Congrats!