Mobility House Manages Charging for Modesto City Electric School Bus Fleets


The Mobility House is partnering with Modesto City Schools in California to integrate its smart charging and energy management system, ChargePilot, with the district’s new electric bus fleet.

Modesto City Schools, in partnership with California’s Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project, has invested $14 million to purchase 30 Blue Bird electric buses – the largest single order in Blue Bird history – replacing nearly half of its existing diesel fleet and saving over $250,000 a year with zero-emission alternatives.

The project is led by Modesto City Schools, with construction and engineering to be completed by Schneider Electric, and in collaboration with A to Z Bus Sales.

“Our sustainability initiatives to reduce air pollution in our community are also an important step in introducing the next generation of students to cleaner transportation,” says Tim Zearley, associate superintendent of business services of Modesto City Schools. “I’m proud of Modesto City Schools for leading by example and becoming the first district in Stanislaus County to integrate zero-emission buses into the school system.”

Charging infrastructure for the project will break ground in June 2022, with buses expected to be commissioned between September and December of this year.

“Modesto City Schools’ commitment to fighting climate change and teaching our students the importance of a healthier environmental ecosystem is truly inspirational,” comments Representative Josh Harder. “Investments in clean transportation like Modesto’s are the foundation we need to build stronger, more resilient communities.”

Modeled after the successful fleet electrification project by Stockton Unified School District in 2021, Modesto City Schools will leverage The Mobility House’s ChargePilot to optimize charging schedules that ensure all vehicles remain readily available while also minimizing electricity costs according to local utility rates. Charging infrastructure for the 30-vehicle electric fleet, which the district plans to expand by an additional 30 electric buses in the near future, includes 30 BTC 16.8 kW AC chargers and two ABB 50 kW DC fast chargers.

“Modesto City Schools is a shining example of how the fleet electrification blueprint we helped establish for Stockton Unified School District can be easily replicated, for school bus fleets of any size,” says Zoheb Davar, head of business development for The Mobility House. “Modesto City Schools is to be commended for prioritizing environmental stewardship, and we’re here to help them realize their operational and sustainability goals with smart charging management.”

Public project funding of $6.3 million was provided by Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP), a program launched by the California Air Resources Board and administered by CALSTART, a national clean transportation nonprofit consortium. The district also plans to implement congruent green initiatives throughout its schools and facilities, such as solar canopies, electric lawn mowers and clean energy education programs for students.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Modesto City Schools in their historic shift to an electrified school bus fleet and, in doing so, to leverage our energy infrastructure and funding expertise to help the district achieve its lofty sustainability objectives,” states Tammy Fulop, vice president of Schneider Electric. “Our accelerated implementation of the charging structure will occur in parallel to the installation of six Sustainable Outdoor Learning Environments and the addition of ~800 kWp of solar carport arrays. These combined measures will save the district fuel, energy and operational costs that can be reinvested into further sustainability programs.”

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