Across North America, some students going back to school this fall will ride electric school buses. More than 100 electric school buses, powered by a Cummins fully electric drivetrain, have been ordered to date from Blue Bird Corporation, a school bus manufacturer highly focused on alternative fuel technologies.
Blue Bird electric buses are already operating in California, North Dakota and Washington. Additional buses on order will transport students in California, Colorado, New Jersey, New York and Quebec later this year or in 2020.
“The amount of interest has been outstanding; people are very excited about a 100-percent electric-powered school bus,” said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corporation. “The nation is increasingly influenced in electric vehicle transportation in general, and we anticipate rapid growth of electric school buses as more districts are educated on the zero-emissions and low-maintenance benefits they bring to their local communities.”
Blue Bird has been working with electric technology in school buses since 1994, and recently partnered with the Cummins Electrified Power business segment. Cummins produces the all-electric drivetrains that power Blue Bird’s Vision Electric and All American Electric buses. The partnership brings over 30 years of electric drivetrain experience to this fast-growing segment, and almost 200 combined years of leadership in customer support. Over the next three years, Cummins is investing $500 million in electrification to bring dependable, high quality, fully electric and hybrid solutions to market across a wide range of applications.
“Cummins and Blue Bird are committed to supporting customers and ensuring that we are safely transporting our children and improving air quality for communities,” said Julie Furber, vice president of electrified power at Cummins Inc. “Schools can count on Cummins to deliver the same level of support and service network for these electric buses that we’ve always delivered through our more than 200 wholly-owned branch locations and 3,200 service technicians in North America.”
The innovative Blue Bird electric bus delivers abundant benefits to students, drivers and taxpayers. The buses produce zero emissions, improve air quality and require less maintenance, saving districts time and money. The buses are capable of up to 120 miles of range and can be recharged in approximately eight hours using a standard SAE J1772 Level 2 charger, making overnight charging convenient.