Blue Bird debuts electric step van

US school bus manufacturer Blue Bird has unveiled the operating prototype of an electric step van and underlying stripped chassis. 

This prototype of the last-mile delivery commercial vehicle was built in collaboration with US electric truck manufacturer and fleet services provider Xos for the powertrain and US work truck body manufacturer Morgan Olson for the body.

The prototype is built on a 178-inch wheelbase for vans with a gross vehicle weight rating of up to 23,000 lbs. It is equipped with a 140 kWh battery that is mounted inside the frame rails for protection and supports a range of up to 130 miles. Other features include “hill hold” to prevent rolling when the vehicle is stationary on a hill, “electric creep” that simulates the slow forward motion of an ICE vehicle in gear when pressure is removed from the brake pedal, and 55-degree wheel cut for improved maneuverability. Blue Bird expects the electric stripped chassis to be commercially available in late 2024.

“For nearly a century, Blue Bird has perfected its core capabilities of designing, engineering and manufacturing school buses from the ground up,” said Blue Bird President Britton Smith. “Now we are one step closer to applying our vehicle manufacturing expertise and expanding our electric-powered product range to the commercial vehicle market.”

Source: Blue Bird

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