Electric vehicle (EV) company BYD has unveiled its electric Type D school bus, equipped with smart technologies such as bi-directional charging and advanced safety features.
Available in 35-, 38-, and 40-foot models, BYD’s electric school bus can seat up to 84 passengers and can be equipped with a wheelchair lift, Jim Skeen, a spokesperson for BYD, told School Bus Fleet.
The bus, which includes a lithium iron phosphate battery, also has an operating range of up to 155 miles on a single charge, according to a news release from the EV manufacturer.
“We are raising the bar for design, innovation, range, and quality, giving parents peace of mind knowing their children are benefitting from the safest school bus anywhere,” said Stella Li, president of BYD North America, in the news release. “At the same time, our buses will give operators the performance and cost savings that will make migrating to zero-emission technology affordable and practical.”
With bi-directional charging, BYD’s electric school bus can be charged overnight when energy demand is low, and free energy can be fed back into the classroom during school hours when the bus is parked, according to the manufacturer.
Overall, BYD’s electric bus technology is expected to cut fuel and maintenance costs by as much as 60% compared to diesel vehicles, Keen told SBF.
In addition to cutting costs, BYD has added a variety of safety features to its electric bus, including electronic stability control, a collision avoidance system, and a 360-degree monitoring system from a third-party vendor, according to Keen. The bus is also equipped with a stop-arm camera from BYD, which monitors approaching traffic and notifies students when it may not be safe to cross.
Other safety technologies that can be added to the manufacturer's electric bus include IMMI’S Safeguard three-point lap-shoulder belts, integrated child seats, and portable restraints, according to BYD.
"From the beginning, our team has always been focused on many key features,” said Samuel Kang, BYD's head of total technology solutions. “We believed the Type D electric bus needed to be appealing to kids while at the same time offer the upmost safety features and driver ergonomics, be equipped with a safe, high-performance battery, and have plenty of storage capacity for road trips. The BYD Type D school bus achieves all those goals."