During an annual dealer meeting in late May, school bus manufacturer Blue Bird Corporation announced the milestone of 500 electric-powered school buses delivered or on order. As the only school bus manufacturer that produces and sells all three school-bus body configurations in EV, Blue Bird expects its electric bus sales to accelerate through the rest of 2021.
“Customer interest and excitement in owning a Blue Bird electric-powered school bus is increasing every day and we are thrilled to reach the sales milestone of 500 electric-powered buses hitting the road this year,” said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corporation. “We are committed to providing school bus fleets with safe, clean-power transportation, and with electric-powered buses it’s easy to see how students and the community can benefit. Across North America, Blue Bird school buses transport more than eight million children to school each day; by eliminating harmful NOx emissions from the tailpipe, we are protecting students against the risk of asthma and lung disease. Safe, clean transportation is our priority.”
Blue Bird’s zero-emission, electric-powered school buses support new federal initiatives on climate change, including the Clean School Bus Act and the Clean Commute for Kids Act. With students returning to school and the federal government’s plan to invest in infrastructure and American-made electric vehicles, Blue Bird expects substantial growth in zero-emission school bus sales in the years ahead.
“In the push for clean transportation, we expect municipalities to incorporate more zero-emission vehicles in their fleets, which include around 600,000 school buses. In anticipation of the growth in demand, we’ll be increasing our EV production capacity to 3,000 units next year. We fully expect that by 2030, nearly 100% of our sales will come from EV school buses,” said Horlock.
“In addition to having the broadest range of EV school buses in the industry, our exclusive dealer network is a major factor in our success, by being able to support the thousands of customers who operate our buses in every state. During our May dealer meeting, we shared some of the exciting EV updates we have planned for the near future and the key role of dealers in supporting customers as we shift to new technologies. With customer relationships built by Blue Bird and our dealers over decades, this know-how and trust is a vital attribute that can’t be duplicated as new technology is adopted,” added Horlock.
Recently, through our Yancey Bus Sales dealership, Fulton County Schools received Georgia’s first electric school bus, and in Illinois, our Central States Bus Sales dealership delivered North America’s first-ever commercial application of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology, at the high bi-directional power of 60kW. In California, Blue Bird’s A-Z Bus Sales dealership has delivered over 300 electric school buses.
Blue Bird dealers can advise school districts on electric-vehicle funding, infrastructure and training, specific to their requirements. For more information on how to effectively transition to electric-powered buses, visit www.bluebirdelectricschoolbus.com.