IC Bus, a subsidiary of Navistar, has unveiled the IC Electric Bus chargE, its new electric CE Series concept school bus developed with its alliance partner, Volkswagen Truck & Bus. The chargE was designed to give customers a zero-emissions school bus option while lowering the total cost of ownership and offering user-friendly options and features with diesel-like performance. The company unveiled the chargE at the 2017 National Association for Pupil Transportation Annual Conference and Trade Show in Ohio and expects to launch its first unit as early as 2019.
“The chargE demonstrates how our alliance with Volkswagen Truck & Bus is allowing us to move even faster into electric powertrains and other advanced technologies, thanks to our ability to leverage both companies’ technology investments and components,” says Bill Kozek, senior vice president of strategic initiatives of Navistar.
“Additionally, our electric school bus is another example of how IC Bus is driving the future of school bus transportation by providing a wide range of powertrain solutions, including electric propulsion, propane, gasoline and diesel,” says Trish Reed, vice president and general manager of IC Bus.
According to IC Bus, the new chargE concept electric school bus incorporates a common group electric drivetrain from Volkswagen Truck & Bus that is quiet, does not produce any emissions, and can be built to address any school bus customer’s specific requirements. The range of the chargE can exceed 120 miles, while the powertrain can deliver up to 260 kW (about 349 peak horsepower), the company adds.
“We’re proud to introduce our electric powertrain concept vehicle engineered to meet the demands of the 21st century school bus industry,” notes Reed. “As battery technology evolves, we continue to explore a variety of electric technologies to meet our customers’ needs in the final design of the CE Series electric-powered school bus.”
At the inaugural North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta this past September, Navistar and Volkswagen Truck & Bus Group announced plans to develop an electric-powered, medium-duty vehicle for Navistar’s core market (U.S. and Canada), which it also expects to launch as early as 2019. The chargE concept vehicle represents the second electric powertrain vehicle coming out of the alliance built with a common group electric drivetrain from Volkswagen Truck & Bus.
“We are embracing technology and innovation that make drivers safer and more satisfied, while providing the school bus industry with vehicles that are safe, reliable and efficient,” says Reed. “IC Bus leads the school bus industry in uptime through a powerful combination of manufacturing excellent products and having the industry’s strongest dealer network that keeps our customers’ buses on the road.”