Blue Bird Corp. has opened its new Electric Vehicle (EV) Build-up Center on the grounds of the company’s main U.S. manufacturing plant in Fort Valley, Ga.
Blue Bird transformed a 40,000 sq. ft. facility to meet increasing demand for electric school buses. The opening marks an important milestone as the company continues to expand its electric school bus production capacity from four to 20 vehicles a day.
U.S. and Canadian school districts are increasingly transitioning their bus fleets to electric, zero-emission vehicles. School districts continue to benefit from significant public funding sources to accelerate the adoption of electric school buses and the supporting charging infrastructure. Presently, there are more than $10 billion in federal, state, provincial, and local funding earmarked for zero- and low-emission school buses.
“Based on the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law alone, we anticipate thousands of additional electric school bus orders valued at an estimated $1 billion over five years,” says Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) anticipates that 30 percent of all model year 2027 school buses will be electric-powered. This figure is projected to increase to 45 percent for model year 2032 school buses, according to the EPA’s newly proposed greenhouse gas emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles.
Blue Bird’s EV Build-up Center will enable the company to increase its long-term production capacity to 5,000 electric school buses a year.
Blue Bird’s EV Build-up Center includes InCharge Energy ICE-30 chargers and mobile carts to flexibly charge electric school buses prior to customer delivery. Based on the charging infrastructure, newly assembled buses at the EV Build-up Center will take four hours to fully charge.