While the automotive industry is making major moves toward the production of electric vehicles, few forms of transportation spew as much pollution into the air as traditional school buses.
And that’s why one of the biggest names in school bus manufacturing is going all in on electrifying these ubiquitous big yellow buses.
A new factory
According to recent reports, Blue Bird is opening a new facility in Georgia that will be dedicated entirely to assembling electric-powered school buses. The company called it “an important milestone” in its goal “to expand its electric school bus production capacity from 4 to 20 vehicles a day.”
There are already about 1,000 electric Blue Bird buses on the roads of America already, but the new factory is poised to increase that number by about 5,000 annually.
Two styles — a traditional “Type C” and flat-fronted “Type D” — are currently in production and they can transport between 77 and 84 students.
A perfect match
Although EVs have come a long way in recent years, there’s still a big concern among some consumers regarding the range of their batteries. This is also a major issue standing in the way of replacing big rigs with electric power.
School buses, on the other hand, are uniquely positioned to benefit from an electric makeover.
- They run on fixed routes and don’t need to travel long distances at a time.
- A four-hour recharge period can take place while school is in session.
- Federal agencies are providing the funds needed to help purchase electric buses.
The new Blue Bird models are expected to be able to travel up to 120 miles between charges, which is more than enough to complete the typical route.