Blue Bird has delivered the first operational electric DC fast charge vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capable school bus of its kind in North America to the City of Pekin in Illinois and recently delivered another electric school bus to a nearby school district.
The bus is powered by the Cummins PowerDrive EV system and utilizes technology from Nuvve Holding Corp., according to a news release from Blue Bird. It is one of two Blue Bird Type C electric buses recently delivered to the area, and will be used to serve Pekin Public School District 108.
“Not only are we improving the health of our students, drivers, and communities by reducing emissions, but our V2G capabilities allow us to store clean electrical energy and to generate revenue by reselling unused energy back to the grid during peak demand,” said Daniel Jost, fleet manager for the City of Pekin.
Nuvve’s V2G platform allows the school bus batteries to store energy, including renewable energy generated from sources such as wind and solar, when the grid does not have an immediate need for it, according to Blue Bird. This enables fleets to sell stored energy from the school bus batteries to the grid when demand calls for it.
The Nuvve V2G system can also be used to supply energy back to the school and intelligently charge the buses during non-peak hours to reduce peak-consumption energy costs, according to Blue Bird. Nuvve is installing V2G DC charging stations at each site.
“Our system allows electric school buses to perform to their fullest potential by providing grid services when plugged in and charging,” said Gregory Poilasne, chairman and CEO of Nuvve. “This reduces load on the grid and will make emergency backup power from buses a reality in the near future. With our partners at Blue Bird, we’re on a mission to make the electrification of school buses more affordable and efficient, and our V2G platform positions us to do that.”
Meanwhile, nearby Hollis Consolidated Grade School District 328’s recent electric school bus purchase makes the district’s fleet 100% electric powered, according to Blue Bird.
“The benefits are far and wide with our Blue Bird electric bus,” said Chad Jones, the district’s superintendent and principal. “Compared with diesel, service requirements are significantly reduced, and we are providing 100% green transportation for our students.”
Both school districts are members of the Bus-2-Grid Initiative, a membership service of the Future Green Energy Consortium, which helps school districts leverage V2G revenue opportunities and secure grant funding to electrify their fleets.
“With this new advancement, we’re helping school districts leverage their investment by making our technology smarter and more efficient,” said Amy Davis, vice president and president of new power business at Cummins.
The districts are currently adding infrastructure and chargers to support the zero-emissions buses, which were paid for by an electric bus grant from the E.D. Edwards Coal-Fired Plant Settlement.
“With more than 400 Blue Bird electric school buses already delivered or on order, districts across the U.S. are quickly learning how easy and affordable it is to adopt this cleaner, safer solution for students,” said Trevor Rudderham, senior vice president of electrification and product planning at Blue Bird.