A new all-electric school bus will offer passenger capacity of up to 48, a range of up to 85 miles and 50% charge within two hours, according to supplier officials.
The Starcraft e-Quest XL electric bus project involves several companies. It’s billed as a partnership between electric powertrain supplier Motiv Power Systems and nationwide bus dealership Creative Bus Sales. The bus itself is a Starcraft body on a Ford F59 chassis.
“Developing more options for all-electric school buses offers more opportunities for school districts to reduce harmful pollutants near children who are especially vulnerable to health impacts from diesel emissions,” Motiv Founder and CEO Jim Castelaz said. “We’re thrilled to be working with Creative Bus Sales to help improve conditions for students’ health, save districts on fuel costs and support California’s environmental goals.”
Multiple electric school bus offerings have been introduced in recent years. Trans Tech launched its SSTe electric Type A school bus, which also uses a Motiv powertrain. Lion Bus now offers the eLion electric Type C school bus.
Also, Adomani has been converting old diesel school buses to electric power and recently partnered with GreenPower Motor Co. to bring Type A, C and D electric school buses to California. TransPower has also been converting diesel school buses to run on electricity.
Along with Motiv and Creative Bus Sales, the new Starcraft e-Quest XL also involves California-based fleet conversion company Green Alternative Systems, which now adds Motiv to its portfolio of available alternative fuel systems for fleets across the country.
“Greening the nation’s fleets is not a one-size-fits-all solution,” said Mark Matijevich, general manager of Green Alternative Systems. “Between CNG, propane and now an all-electric option, we continue to guide schools and commercial fleets towards the best options to fit their operational needs while reducing their carbon footprints.”
In addition to the Ford F59 chassis, the Motiv All-Electric Powertrain has upfit packages available for the Ford E450 and the Crane Carrier COE2 Class 8 chassis. The configurations include batteries, electric motors, a universal charger and electric power for auxiliary systems. Company officials said that the Motiv All-Electric Powertrain is professionally installed to OEM standards at the time of the vehicle's manufacture.
A spokesperson for Motiv said that delivery of the new e-Quest XL is expected to begin this summer.