MACON, Ga.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Blue Bird Corporation (Nasdaq: BLBD), the leader in electric and low-emission school buses, will premiere its next-generation Vision electric school bus at STN Expo West, a leading student transportation industry and technology event in North America. The state-of-the-art, zero-emission vehicle will be on display for the first time from July 14-19, 2023, at booth 317 inside the Peppermill Resort in Reno, Nev.
The Vision vehicle launch represents a continued partnership between Blue Bird and Accelera by Cummins, Cummins' zero-emissions technology business segment. This new Type C electric school bus features a proven powertrain platform and a next-generation battery with a capacity of 196kWh, a more than 25 percent capacity increase compared to today’s model bus. The battery enables a vehicle range of up to 130 miles on a single charge. The next-generation battery takes merely three hours to fully recharge since it supports a fast-charging rate of 80kW.
In addition, Blue Bird improved the warranty on the upgraded system to allow for 360 MWh of energy throughput, more than double the amount compared to the standard battery offering. This will benefit Blue Bird customers who utilize the batteries' revenue-generating vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capabilities. V2G technology allows EV fleet operators to sell excess energy stored in school bus batteries back to electric power companies at a profit.
The next-generation compact and lightweight batteries contribute to improved efficiency and a vehicle weight reduction of approximately 1,000 lbs. In turn, Blue Bird increased the seating capacity of its new Vision electric bus to 77 passengers, up from 72 passengers.
In addition, the advanced Vision electric school bus performs even better in cold weather climates than its predecessor. An improved engineering design and internally insulated batteries limit the heat loss in the vehicle’s next-generation energy storage system. Furthermore, a new optional fuel-fired heating system generates over 20 percent more cabin heat than the current solution.
“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,” said Britton Smith, president of Blue Bird Corporation, which operates nearly 1,000 electric school buses in North America today. “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.”
Blue Bird will continue to build its next-generation electric school buses at its manufacturing facility in Fort Valley, Ga. The company recently celebrated the grand opening of its EV Build-up Center, which will enable Blue Bird to increase its long-term production capacity to 5,000 electric school buses a year. Accelera will supply the electric powertrain for Blue Bird’s new Vision electric school bus. Blue Bird and Cummins have collaborated on technology innovation for decades and continue to serve school districts nationwide.
"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,” said Brian Wilson, general manager of electrified components at Accelera. “Decarbonizing fleets is not easy, but collaborations like this are defining a new era of excellence in technology innovation and service support."
Apart from showcasing its next-generation EV bus, Blue Bird will host a panel discussion titled “EV Charging Infrastructure – Everything you need to know from EV charging experts” as part of the Green Bus Summit at STN Expo West. The expert panel will feature top managers of leading EV charging infrastructure providers Nuvve, InCharge Energy, and Girardin Énergie. The roundtable will take place on July 16, 2023, from 10-10:50 a.m. PT.
Blue Bird is the only U.S.-owned and operated school bus manufacturer in the United States. The company remains the proven clean transportation leader with more than 20,000 propane, natural gas, and electric-powered buses in operation today. The transition to clean student transportation helps Blue Bird to sustain approximately 2,000 good-paying jobs in the United States.
About Blue Bird Corporation
Blue Bird (NASDAQ: BLBD) is recognized as a technology leader and innovator of school buses since its founding in 1927. Our dedicated team members design, engineer and manufacture school buses with a singular focus on safety, reliability, and durability. Blue Bird buses carry the most precious cargo in the world – the majority of 25 million children twice a day – making us the most trusted brand in the industry. The company is the proven leader in low- and zero-emission school buses with more than 20,000 propane, natural gas, and electric powered buses in operation today. Blue Bird is transforming the student transportation industry through cleaner energy solutions. For more information on Blue Bird's complete product and service portfolio, visit www.blue-bird.com.