by Josephine Cordero Sapién
12 Jul 2023
Blue Bird Corporation, which manufactures electric and low-emission school buses, will present its next-generation Vision electric school bus at STN Expo West, which will take place in Reno, Nevada 14–19 July.
The vehicle will be on display at the show, at booth 317.
Compared to earlier Blue Bird vehicles, this one has an extended range, faster battery charging capabilities and increased seated passenger capacity.
The battery used in this vehicle has a capacity of 196kWh, which is an increase of more than 25 percent compared to Blue Bird’s current model. This capacity gives the new bus a range of up to 130 miles on a single charge. The recharging time for the battery is three hours as it supports a fast-charging rate of 80kW.
Blue Bird has also revised the warranty for these buses to allow for 360MWh of energy throughput. This will be useful for those Blue Bird customers who use the batteries’ vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capabilities – where fleet operators can sell energy stored in the bus batteries back to power companies.
The new batteries also mean each vehicle weighs around 1,000lbs less than today’s model and seating capacity is up to 77 from the previous 72 seats.
Other improvements include better cold weather performance.
“Over the past century, Blue Bird has emerged as an iconic company at the forefront of technology advancement and innovation in the school bus industry.
“With our next-generation Vision electric school bus, we continue to take clean student transportation to the next performance level and provide superior, zero-emission buses to school districts across North America. Blue Bird is ever evolving.”
The buses, like their predecessors, will be built in Fort Valley, Georgia. The powertrain will come from Accelera, a Cummins brand.
“Accelera's partnership with Blue Bird is in its fifth year, and together we are providing safe, efficient and sustainable electric school buses in North America.
“Decarbonizing fleets is not easy, but collaborations like this are defining a new era of excellence in technology innovation and service support.”
Bus operators face several key challenges when switching fleets to electric vehicles, resulting in a potential impact on passengers.
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