Since it introduced electric school buses in 2018, the iconic yellow bus manufacturer Blue Bird (NASDAQ: BLBD), has seen a surge in demand. The majority of its e-buses have been sold in California, but they have been deployed all over the US.
“With districts able to obtain grants and other financial assistance, [some] locations that we have deployed electric school buses in were the first in their state to have an EV bus in their fleet,” said Blue Bird CEO Phil Horlock. “As the only manufacturer currently producing every bus type in electric, we can help districts start to introduce and potentially transform their entire fleet over time to zero emissions.”
“As districts continue to see the environmental benefits of low- and zero-emissions solutions, such as electric, it is inevitable for our industry to see this shift,” added Horlock. “In fact, over 50% of what we produce is an alternative to diesel, and we are prepared to meet further growth in demand.”
Electric buses have fewer parts to maintain than diesel buses, so school districts can realize immediate savings on maintenance costs.
Blue Bird’s electric buses are now equipped with vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capability, which allows communities to use them as backup power sources in emergency situations, and offers the possibility to generate revenue by selling electricity back to the local utility while the bus is parked during peak power use times.
“The usual concern with deciding to introduce electric in a new area is the climate – will it work in cold weather?” said Blue Bird Chief Commercial Officer Mark Terry. “We have deployed buses in over 25% of all states in the US, including cold climates such as North Dakota and New York, as well as hot areas such as Texas and Georgia. Charging is a key part of the equation that districts should really look into, and we have an incredible dealership network that helps districts navigate infrastructure setup to ensure effective charging and operation.”
Source: Blue Bird