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April 12 - Blue Bird Electric School Buses Take to the Road and Taking Orders

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

April 12, 2018 - Following the overwhelmingly positive customer reaction to the unveiling of both Blue Bird’s Type C and Type D electric-powered buses at the school bus industry’s national trade shows (STN Expo in Reno, Nevada and NAPT Conference in Columbus, Ohio) last year, Blue Bird has been busy bringing the buses to the market in record time.

Since kicking off its national customer Ride & Drive events in seven markets in California in January, the Blue Bird electric Type D bus made successful stops in Nevada, Arizona, Colorado and Ohio. The bus is currently in New York and then will head to Florida, Ontario Canada, and several stops along the way. Ride & Drive customers include school districts, fleet operators, air-quality authorities and even utility companies, who gave unanimously enthusiastic feedback on the whisper-quiet ride, smooth acceleration and handling. (See the link to these events and Blue Bird electric bus details at http://www.blue-bird.com/blue-bird/ebus.aspx.)

 “After the outstanding response we saw in in California, Blue Bird is excited to showcase our electric school buses to customers and drivers across North America, not as concept vehicles, but as a preview of our production buses later this fall,” said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corporation. “As both the pioneer and undisputed leader in alternative fuels, we are delighted to expand our “green” product offering by adding electric bus options in both Type C and D body styles. Our electric buses have received an Executive Order from the California Air Resources Board and both HVIP and TVIP listing, which qualify Blue Bird’s electric buses for grants available in California and New York, respectively. That’s great news for our customers and following our Ride & Drives in California, we are already receiving orders from school districts. We are open for business and taking orders.”

Blue Bird is the undisputed leader in innovation, breadth of choice and quality of engines offered to the school bus market, and is supported by industry-leading technology partners:

  • Propane, CNG and gasoline buses all with safety and reliability at the forefront and the backing of Ford Motor Company and Roush CleanTech. Modern, proven and a single engine architecture for simplicity.
  • All diesel buses powered by Cummins engines, the clear industry leader in diesel.
  • Electric Type C and Type D buses supported by partners at ADOMANI and EDI.

“It’s our tradition to be first-to-market in offering exciting, innovative and differentiated products that customers want and value,” added Phil Horlock. “Our electric buses complete our alternative-fuel vehicle line-up, and we’re committed to continued growth in the fastest growing segment of the business. We haven’t created a fancy name for this bus or touted foreign technology – our electric bus is designed and made in America, just as Blue Bird has been for 90 years. Welcome to Blue Bird electric-powered buses!” 

Key attributes of Blue Bird’s first-to-market electric-powered school buses include:

  • Available in Blue Bird Vision (Type C) and All American (Type D) models.
  • Zero emissions – cleanest drivetrain available.
  • The only major OEM to qualify for HVIP and TVIP grants in California and New York, respectively.
  • Quoting prices and taking orders through Bird Bird’s national dealer network.
  • Multiple locations for Ride & Drives – follow on http://www.blue-bird.com/blue-bird/ebus.aspx and get the experience.
  • Deliveries beginning in late summer/early fall 2018.
  • 160kWh lithium-ion battery capacity provides expected 100-120 mile range on a single charge.
  • Limited seven-year battery warranty.
  • Portable, standard charging station can recharge on a single shift or overnight.
  • Power and acceleration better than a conventional bus.
  • Low maintenance and service requirements; no transmission.
  • Telematics and remote monitoring capability available.
  • High-powered vehicle-to-grid capability coming in 2019, supported by DoE development grant.
  • Exceeds Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards with Colorado Racking and Kentucky Pole Test certification standard on every Blue Bird bus.
  • Exclusive electric drivetrain in school bus application, developed with partners Adomani and EDI.
  • Can be customized to meet specific customer requirements.
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