Alternative Fuels

Blue Bird Kicks off Electric School Bus Sales With Demos Nationwide

Posted on April 6, 2018
Blue Bird is taking its Type C and Type D (pictured) electric school buses across the U.S. for ride-and-drive events.
Blue Bird is taking its Type C and Type D (pictured) electric school buses across the U.S. for ride-and-drive events.

MACON, Ga. — Blue Bird is bringing its Type C and Type D electric school buses to the market and taking them on the road for demonstrations nationwide.

The school bus manufacturer unveiled the Type C bus at the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) trade show in November, and the Type D bus at the STN Expo in July. The buses have completed certification testing and are now in pre-production, according to Blue Bird.

Since kicking off its national customer ride-and-drive events in seven markets in California in January, the Blue Bird electric Type D bus made stops in Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, and Ohio. The bus is currently in New York and then will head to Florida, and then will make several other stops along the way to Ontario, Canada.

Ride-and-drive customers include school districts, fleet operators, air-quality authorities, and utility companies.

“After the outstanding response we saw in California, Blue Bird is excited to showcase our electric school buses to customers and drivers across North America, not as concept vehicles, but as a preview of our production buses later this fall,” said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corp. “We are delighted to expand our ‘green’ product offering by adding electric bus options in both Type C and D body styles.”

Horlock added that the electric buses have received an executive order from the California Air Resources Board and both a Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP) and Truck-Voucher Incentive Program (TVIP) listing, which qualify Blue Bird’s electric buses for grants available in California and New York, respectively.

“That’s great news for our customers, and following our ride and drives in California, we are already receiving orders from school districts,” Horlock said.

The electric buses’ electric drivetrain was developed with partners Adomani and EDI.

Other key attributes of the Type C and D electric buses include:

•    A 160kWh lithium-ion battery capacity, which is designed to provide an expected 100- to 120-mile range on a single charge.
•    A limited seven-year battery warranty.
•    A portable, standard charging station that can recharge on a single shift or overnight.
•    Telematics and remote monitoring capability available.
•    Vehicle-to-grid capability coming in 2019, supported by a U.S. Department of Energy development grant.
•    Exceeding federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS) with Colorado Racking and Kentucky Pole Test certification, standard on every Blue Bird bus.
•    Customizable options.

The school bus manufacturer’s national dealer network is quoting prices and taking orders. Deliveries are expected to begin in late summer/early fall of this year.

For more information on the ride-and-drive events and Blue Bird electric bus details, go here.

Related Topics: alternative fuels, Blue Bird, electric bus, Type C School Bus

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