Three major school bus manufacturers – Thomas, Blue Bird and IC Bus – introduced battery-electric buses at the recent National Association for Pupil Transportation trade show in Columbus, Ohio.
Daimler subsidiary Thomas Built Buses introduced the Saf-T-Liner C2 Electric Bus, affectionately known as Jouley, which has a capacity of 81 passengers and is to go into production in 2019. Jouley features a PowerDrive 7000ev powertrain from Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. (EDI), which provides 100-160 kWh of battery capacity and a baseline range of 100 miles. Additional battery packs can be added for more range.
The Blue Bird Vision Electric Type C school bus uses a powertrain from ADOMANI, together with drivetrain and vehicle control software from EDI. It features a battery capacity of 150 kWh, up to 100 miles of range and a charging time under 8 hours. Blue Bird unveiled its Type D All American Rear-Engine Electric school bus in July, powered by the same ADOMANI/EDI partnership.
The Navistar IC Electric Bus chargE is a concept vehicle developed with alliance partner Volkswagen Truck & Bus. Its powertrain can deliver up to 260 kW of power (349 peak hp), and a range of at least 120 miles. The company expects to launch its first unit in 2019.