Blue Bird experiences “unprecedented curiosity” in its electric school buses as gross sales elevated greater than 250% year-over-year in fiscal 2020.

The corporate expects that by the tip of this yr it’ll have near 300 EVs on the highway within the U.S. and Canada, and now’s getting ready to ramp-up additionally the manufacturing capability.

The plan is to develop manufacturing sixfold, as much as 1,000 items yearly, “to fulfill the anticipated progress in demand.”

We guess it ought to work out, as there are greater than 600,000 faculty buses in service within the U.S. and Canada. Furthermore, 95% of them are diesel and the common age is roughly 11 years.

In accordance with Blue Hen, prospects are more and more taking a look at options to diesel, particularly once they can get acquire a grant and different monetary help.

Already greater than half of Blue Hen’s new gross sales are non-diesel buses (electrical or different ICE kind).

To learn from the transition, the corporate electrified all its fashions (Kind A, Kind C and Kind D configurations).

Moreover, Blue Hen faculty buses are outfitted with bi-directional V2G charging/discharging system. There are two doable benefits of getting V2G:

  • customers can promote energy again to the electrical grid at peak-demand occasions (significantly in summer season when faculty buses are idle), thereby lowering working prices
  • it may act as a backup energy supply in emergency conditions

Whereas a lot of the Blue Hen EVs had been offered in California, the corporate deployed buses in over 25% of all states within the U.S. – “together with chilly climates corresponding to North Dakota and New York, in addition to sizzling areas corresponding to Texas and Georgia”.

Right here is an fascinating presentation of the Blue Hen electrical faculty bus with Hinton Harrison, senior technical specialist – engineer. He factors out that the primary EV was inbuilt 1994, though the EV market began to take off simply within the latest few years, when fashionable variations, with lithium-ion batteries emerged.