Subscribe Today

May 28, 2014  |   Comments (7)   |   Post a comment

Converted electric school bus debuts at California district

By Thomas McMahon


SHARING TOOLS   | Email Print RSS
Gilroy Unified School District officials, clean-air advocates and other dignitaries gathered at the district's transportation facility to kick off a pilot project for an electric bus.

Gilroy Unified School District officials, clean-air advocates and other dignitaries gathered at the district's transportation facility to kick off a pilot project for an electric bus.

GILROY, Calif. — Gilroy Unified School District handed over an old diesel school bus and got it back as a converted electric school bus.

At a ceremony on Tuesday, district officials, clean-air advocates and other dignitaries gathered at the Gilroy district's transportation facility to kick off a pilot project for the electric bus. Gilroy Mayor Don Gage performed the ribbon cutting to launch the bus.

In addition to the conversion from diesel to electric, the district was supplied with a solar array to help generate electricity to power the bus.

Gilroy Superintendent Dr. Deborah Flores conveyed the district’s appreciation for being selected for the project.

“We are so pleased to be able to help the environment and also to help our budget,” Flores said.

The project has been spearheaded by nonprofit organization Breathe California of the Bay Area. The major funder is The Health Trust.

“I have long imagined a world where clean, zero-emission vehicles would take children to school ... and now that vision is a reality,” said Margo Sidener, president and CEO of Breathe California of the Bay Area. “The addition of solar fueling makes this a 'Zero Emissions Squared' project — zero-emission vehicle times zero-emission fuel — for cleaner air for all.”

Adomani Inc. converted the 50-passenger school bus from diesel to electric. Pictured is the engine compartment after the conversion.
<p>Adomani Inc. converted the 50-passenger school bus from diesel to electric. Pictured is the engine compartment after the conversion.</p>
Edward Monfort, president of Adomani Inc., invented the bus conversion that was introduced at Gilroy.

“Our conversion of this 50-passenger full-size school bus proves that Adomani is a company that can convert vehicles into all-electric vehicles no matter what size or type of vehicle you have,” Monfort said.

The company had many more hurdles to pass in working with a school bus, including the many imposed by the California Highway Patrol that are designed to keep kids safe.

"Working with sports cars and heavy-duty trucks has its rewards, but transforming the school transportation industry through zero-emission vehicles has to be one of the most meaningful projects of my life,” Monfort added.

Green Transportation Workforce Development will provide training for school districts that participate in the Zero Emissions Squared project. The training will cover such topics as the use of the vehicles in daily service, maintenance and repair, and infrastructure.

This shot shows the batteries and the charging equipment that were installed in the luggage compartments.
<p>This shot shows the batteries and the charging equipment that were installed in the luggage compartments.</p>
“The final, and perhaps most important, component of the Zero Emissions Squared project is making it affordable,” said Bob Garzee, the overall project manager. “Although most customers prefer to go green, it ultimately comes down to getting a good price, arranging financing and getting a good return on investment.”

Garzee said that in addition to Adomani's competitive cost for the conversion to electric and the cost reductions from using electricity and solar power, there are operational savings, such as lower maintenance costs. He added that there is also $200 million of financing available to school districts involved in the project.


Post a Comment


Hmmm, intresting. I hope we will be updated on the progress.

Danny    |    May 30, 2014 06:18 AM

How much cost and where to apply or inquire about getting one? Thanks

Bobby    |    May 30, 2014 06:02 AM

How much total cost and where can a district inquire or apply for this? Thanks

Bobby    |    May 30, 2014 06:01 AM

I hope this makes it more obvious to CARB that buses can be REPOWERED. California has this awful habit, which is anything but environmentally friendly, of destroying otherwise good buses just because they are diesel. More should be repowered, rather than retired, to save the raw materials! Or at least to permit other states to buy them who would LOVE California's rust-free rejects.

Michael    |    May 29, 2014 02:58 PM

Range anxiety shows people's lack of education about electric cars. The fact is that bus routs are known and the batteries can be tailored to the need.

rick    |    May 29, 2014 01:26 PM

This bus was specifically designed to meet a 22 mile route. The electric bus has battery packs for 40, 60, 80 and 100 miles. That is the full charge and it takes 4 hours for a full charge.

Dennis    |    May 29, 2014 01:23 PM

Very interesting. The article leaves out a major issue: what is the bus range with a typical full charge?

Robert J Malloy    |    May 29, 2014 01:08 PM

Post a comment





Related Stories

Premium Member

Get bus sales numbers, transportation statistics, bus specifications, industry survey results, bus loading and unloading fatality statistics and more in the School Bus Fleet Research Center. Become a premium member today!
Log in Button Register Button

Newsletter

Get breaking news, industry updates, product announcements and more.