Collins Bus is teaming up with Lightning eMotors, a provider of electric powertrains and commercial vehicles, to manufacture Type A electric school buses.
Through a multi-year, $11 million-agreement, the two companies will deploy more than 100 Type A electric school buses across the U.S. and Canada, according to a news release from REV Group, the parent company of Collins Bus. Lighting eMotors is expected to provide powertrains for the vehicles as well as charging infrastructure.
“School districts across the U.S. and Canada are eager to introduce zero-emission electric buses,” said Brian Perry, president of the commercial segment at REV Group. “In addition to being clean, green, and sustainable, electric school buses are quiet, efficient, and much less expensive to maintain. We’re pleased to be working with Lightning eMotors to provide districts with the all-electric buses their students, drivers, and communities want.”
Over the last 50 years, Collins Bus has deployed more than 70,000 Type A school buses.
The manufacturer's all-electric models each will have a gross vehicle weight of 14,500 pounds and will feature NMC batteries using battery thermal management and safety systems. The buses will support both Level 2 AC charging and Level 3 DC Fast Charging, with integrated vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capabilities. Other features will include a modern digital-dash display, hill-hold functionality for safety, telematics, analytics, and a mobile app for drivers and fleet managers.
“There are nearly half a million school buses in the U.S., that are sitting at peak electric times available to put energy back on the grid, making student transportation a key part in reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Tim Reeser, CEO of Lightning eMotors. “Collins’ leadership will be a strong catalyst for the market to move to all electric. Together, we are ready to bring zero-emission school buses to a neighborhood near you.”
The first batch of Collins school buses leveraging Lightning’s electric vehicle technology is already in production, with buses expected to be delivered to dealerships and school districts this fall.