The iconic Blue Bird school bus is getting charged. Blue Bird (NASDAQ: BLBD) was founded in 1927, and around 180,000 of the company’s buses are in operation today. Now the company has delivered its first electric school buses to customers in California and Ontario, just in time for the new school year. Seven Type D All American Rear Engine Electric school buses and one Type A Micro Bird G5 Electric school bus will be in operation this year.
Jack Matrosov of Toronto-based Wheelchair Accessible Transit added a Micro Bird G5 Electric school bus to his fleet with financial help from Ontario’s Electric and Hydrogen Vehicle Incentive Program (EHVIP).
“When the EHVIP Grant became available, we were thrilled to find out that Micro Bird had an electric bus solution in the works,” said Matrosov. “Over 90% of our fleet are Micro Bird buses, and we feel these buses offer great quality and good local service when needed.” The grant also allowed Matrosov to cover nearly all of the costs of the charging infrastructure needed for the bus.
The larger 72-passenger buses delivered to California are similar to the many Blue Bird Type D CNG buses operating in the state today. Customers took advantage of many state grants, including South Coast AQMD and HVIP, to defray the cost of the buses and infrastructure.
“We were excited to find out, in the midst of the search process, that Blue Bird had created an electric bus solution,” said Hector Morales, Supervisor of M.O.T. of Mountain View School District in El Monte, California. “Our mechanic is familiar with Blue Bird Type D buses, so it was an easy choice for our fleet.”
“We decided to go with Blue Bird’s electric school buses, because we know the level of service we require will be available to us,” said Mark Toti, Transportation Manager at Bellflower Unified School District in Bellflower, California. “We currently operate 26 Blue Bird CNG buses, and feel comfortable relying on local support from Blue Bird in order to introduce this new technology to our existing fleet.”
“With zero emissions, our electric school buses provide the cleanest possible environment for our customers and the children they transport,” said Blue Bird CEO Phil Horlock. “With battery technology constantly advancing and becoming more efficient, we foresee a great future for growth.”
Source: Blue Bird