Blue Bird 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 new vehicle will be on display for the first time from July 14-19, 2023 in Reno, Nevada.

The Blue Bird Vision vehicle launch represents a continued partnership between Blue Bird and Accelera by Cummins, Cummins’ zero-emissions technology business segment, already announced in March 2023.

Blue Bird will continue to build its next-generation electric school buses at its manufacturing facility in Fort Valley, Georgia. The company in May 2023 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.

Blue Bird Vision electric school bus, the features

Blue Bird Vision new Type C electric school bus features a 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, Blue Bird states.

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 manufacturer says.

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.

Blue Bird electric school bus, with Accelera

“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.”

“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”.


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