This, apparently, is the week for electric school buses, as Blue Bird Corp. has unveiled its all-new Blue Bird Vision Electric Type C school bus. The electric powertrain is supplied by Adomani (ADOM), with drivetrain and vehicle control software developed and produced by their technology partner, Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. (EDI). Production is expected next year.
The latest in the lineup of Blue Bird electric buses integrates the Adomani/EDI drivetrain and vehicle control software and telematics, while featuring up to 100 miles of electric range, with a full charge time of under 8 hours by utilizing a Type 2 charger and a battery capacity of 150kWh. This announcement follows a recent unveil of Blue Bird’s Type D All American rear-engine electric school in July 2017, powered by the same Adomani/EDI partnership.
“We are excited to reveal our latest alternative-fuel option for the school bus market in 2018,” said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird. “We want to offer the broadest range of school bus products in the market and take pride in leading the industry in propane and gasoline-powered school buses. Electric-power is the next step on our journey, and our exclusive partnership with Adomani/EDI will bring both Type C and Type D electric buses to our customers next year.
The electric drivetrain technology used in Blue Bird’s Vision and All American RE Electric vehicles has already been on the road in over 2.5 million miles of driving, the company said. Further, Blue Bird said it pioneered its first electric bus in 1994 for a Southern California demonstration project.
This experience enabled Blue Bird to secure a $4.4M Department of Energy grant earlier this year to develop a Vision Type C electric-powered bus, with full vehicle to grid (V2G) functionality.
“The drivetrain has a proven track record of success in EV applications, and has performed extremely well in multiple testing scenarios,” said Jim Reynolds, president and CEO of Adomani.