Green technology company Nuvve Holding Corp. (Nuvve) and school bus manufacturer Blue Bird Corp. are teaming up to make school bus fleet electrification more accessible and affordable.
The two companies announced on Wednesday their plan to deploy financing capabilities from Levo Mobility, Nuvve’s recently formed joint venture with Stonepeak Partners LP, across Blue Bird’s distribution network, allowing customers to lease vehicle-to-grid (V2G) electric school buses, related charging infrastructure, and energy management for a flat monthly fee with no upfront costs, according to a news release from Nuvve. Levo reportedly has a capital commitment of up to $750 million with the potential to electrify up to 3,500 school buses.
“We are always looking at innovative ways to reduce our customers’ cost of ownership for their school buses,” Phil Horlock, CEO of Blue Bird Corp., said in the news release. “By incorporating the cost of charging infrastructure and the benefits from lower operating costs and V2G revenue into the lease price, the total value of zero-emission Blue Bird school buses becomes very attractive.”
As School Bus Fleet previously reported, in March, Blue Bird delivered the first operational electric DC fast charge school bus equipped with Nuvve’s V2G technology to the City of Pekin in Illinois. The bus is reportedly the first of its kind in North America.
“Blue Bird has championed electric school buses that come standard with V2G capability, and its customers trust its ability to help maximize their investment," Gregory Poilasne, chairman and CEO of Nuvve, said in the release. “Integrating V2G infrastructure upstream in the supply chain is a natural next step, and we're proud that our partnership has produced a new level of accessibility for schools transitioning away from dirty diesel engines.”
According to Nuvve, all Blue Bird Type C and D electric buses are manufactured with Nuvve’s V2G integration which, when combined with a Nuvve V2G charging station, are able to store and discharge energy. The excess, stored energy across multiple buses can be combined to form virtual power plants (VPPs) offering valuable grid services that earn revenue.
As part of the partnership expansion, Nuvve's V2G platform and charging infrastructure will be installed at Blue Bird’s manufacturing facility to allow all new electric buses to charge before delivery. The two companies also plan to deploy Nuvve V2G charging stations along with electric buses at select Blue Bird dealers in multiple states across the U.S.