With its electric-powered school bus sales up more than 250% in this fiscal year compared with last year and increasing interest from school districts and fleet operators across the U.S. and Canada, Blue Bird Corp., an independent designer and manufacturer of school buses, is ramping up its electric bus production capacity to 1,000 units annually, to meet the anticipated growth in demand.
“School bus customers are increasingly looking at alternative-power solutions to the traditional diesel engine that has been the staple product for more than 40 years,” says Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corp. “About 50% of Blue Bird’s bus sales today are non-diesel, twice the industry average, with our propane engine paving the way.”
Blue Bird’s electric school buses are 100% electric, produce zero emissions and offer vehicle to grid (V2G) charging and discharging capability, allowing users to sell power back to the electric grid at peak-demand times (particularly in summer when school buses are idle), thereby reducing operating costs.
The buses currently utilize lithium-ion batteries to power an electric motor, and have equal-to or better-than performance when compared to a bus operated by a combustion engine. They save districts thousands of dollars annually in fuel and maintenance costs since there is no engine or transmission to service, oil and filter changes to consider, or typical diesel-specific items such as diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) to maintain.
For more information on Blue Bird’s electric buses, click here.