Blue Bird Corp., a provider of electric and low-emission school buses, has received the single largest order of electric school buses from a school district in its history. Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) ordered 180 electric, zero-emission school buses through its local Blue Bird dealer, A-Z Bus Sales Inc.
The unprecedented order will help the school district transition the first of several depots to 100% electric student transportation, advancing its ambitious goals of reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions while improving operational efficiencies.
LAUSD already operates 26 Blue Bird electric school buses in its fleet. Moving forward, the school bus manufacturer will provide 30 Vision and 150 All American state-of-the-art electric buses to enlarge the districts’ zero-emission school bus fleet. LAUSD anticipates delivery of the first buses in October and fulfillment of the order in early 2025.
Both model vehicles have a range of up to 130 miles on a single charge. Based on LAUSD’s future charging infrastructure, the buses could take between three and eight hours to recharge fully.
“Los Angeles Unified is excited to move toward the electrification of our Sun Valley Bus Yard school buses,” says Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho. “We must fully commit ourselves to creating a model of sustainability that benefits our students, our school communities and generations to come.”
“Blue Bird is recognized as the technology leader and innovator of all-electric school buses,” says Phil Horlock, CEO of Blue Bird. “We are thrilled to provide safe, reliable, and — above all — clean student transportation to the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest in the nation. Demand for low- and zero-emission school buses remains strong across the United States. Blue Bird will continue to meet and exceed our customer expectations.”
Blue Bird electric buses come standard with vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capability. This bi-directional charging technology will allow LAUSD to potentially sell excess energy stored in school bus batteries back to electric power companies at a profit. In addition, V2G programs help balance demands on the grid and improve grid resiliency.
“LAUSD is making a monumental leap forward by committing to an all-electric future and providing a model for other school districts of how a transition of this size can take place,” adds John Landherr, president and CEO of A-Z Bus Sales. “We’re proud to have helped LAUSD over the years transition from diesel to alternative fuel CNG and propane buses, and as the No. 1 dealer in electric school buses nationwide, our team is positioned to now support the district at all levels with their EV transition.”
Blue Bird recently celebrated the milestone delivery of its 1,500th electric school bus — an industry first. The company’s zero-emission vehicles now operate across 41 U.S. states. With districts increasingly transitioning to clean student transportation, Blue Bird has invested heavily in expanding its electric school bus production capacity. The bus manufacturer has opened the Electric Vehicle (EV) Build-up Center, which will enable Blue Bird to build up to 5,000 electric school buses a year long-term.