Blue Bird Corp., a provider of electric and low-emission school buses, and Generate Capital, a sustainable investment and operating company, have formed a joint venture named Clean Bus Solutions LLC. This JV is intended to meet the increasing demand for electric school buses and accelerate adoption of clean transportation of students in North America.
The venture’s fleet electrification-as-a-service offering will make it simpler for school districts to upgrade to advanced electric vehicles by offering electric school buses and associated charging infrastructure at an affordable monthly fee. This turnkey electrification solution will include Blue Bird’s wide range of electric school buses, financing of both EVs and charging infrastructure, project planning and management, as well as fleet and charging optimization.
Through the JV, school districts can accelerate the electrification of their fleets while delivering new revenue to Blue Bird and its dealers. Besides the traditional upfront vehicle sale, Blue Bird’s ownership in the JV will generate additional recurring revenue from the financing and charging infrastructure services paid over the vehicle lifetime and from the maintenance and repair services delivered through Blue Bird’s dealer network.
Generate’s flexible capital solutions, expertise in infrastructure-as-a-service solutions, established project developer network and existing decarbonization contracts with school districts complement Blue Bird’s mobility solutions and can help reduce the 8 million metric tons of emission generated each year by diesel-powered school buses in the U.S.
“We are excited to partner with Generate Capital to provide a market-leading fleet electrification-as-a-service offering,” says Phil Horlock, Blue Bird CEO. “Blue Bird’s customers are poised to benefit greatly from Generate’s sustainable investment expertise and flexible financial resources. Through the JV, school districts will continue to be supported by Blue Bird and the dealers they have known and trusted for many years. School districts will also avoid the significant upfront costs and complexity of electrifying their school bus fleets while improving air quality for their students and communities.”
“Parents are rightly pressuring their community leaders to clean up the air their children are forced to breathe, and there’s no more obvious imperative than the school bus fleet,” adds Scott Jacobs, CEO and co-founder of Generate. “Electric, pollution-free transportation is here, and it’s the most compelling economic and environmental choice — so it’s time we take care of our most precious community members. Combining our decade of expertise and experience in these communities with Blue Bird and its market-leading electric school buses is a perfect way to accelerate the transition to clean air and transportation that all of our families, communities and school districts are demanding.”
Blue Bird recently opened its Electric Vehicle Build-up Center, a dedicated 40,000-square-foot facility that will enable the company to significantly increase its production of electric school buses, with capacity of up to 5,000 EVs annually in the years to come.