Accelera and Blue Bird Launch Advanced Electric School Bus

Accelera by Cummins, Cummins Inc.’s zero-emission division, in collaboration with Blue Bird Corporation, an industry leader in producing electric and low-emission school buses, has launched the latest Vision electric school bus. This unveiling took place at the STN Expo West, a prestigious event in North America for showcasing the latest trends in student transportation and technology, held in Reno, Nevada.

Why It Matters

The advanced Vision electric school bus sports Accelera’s PowerDrive 7000, the latest in its electric powertrain technology. This upgraded system offers superior performance and is accompanied by a next-generation battery boasting a capacity of 196kWh – an impressive 25% improvement from the prior model. This enhanced battery technology allows these electric school buses to cover distances of up to 130 miles on a single charge.

Key Points

  • This collaboration between Accelera and Blue Bird, now in its fifth year, heralds a new era of technological innovation and superior service support.
  • The assembly process of this new generation of electric school buses has been significantly optimized, leading to improved build quality and expedited lead times.
  • Accelera and Blue Bird aim to deploy a fleet of 1,000 electric school buses in North America within the next 12 to 18 months.
  • The partnership’s successful initiatives are evident in Colorado and California, where school districts have leveraged funding opportunities to convert their fleets into electric, offering cleaner, quieter, and more comfortable rides.

Bottom Line

The next-generation PowerDrive 7000 system features crucial enhancements, including compact, lighter batteries that improve efficiency and increase the seating capacity of the Vision electric bus from 72 to 77 passengers. These batteries also include internal insulation to mitigate heat loss within the energy storage system. Furthermore, the new PowerDrive 7000 boasts a simplified architecture with fewer system components and optimized software, enhancing the vehicle’s energy distribution and reliability while reducing maintenance. These advancements demonstrate Accelera’s and Blue Bird’s commitment to promoting safer, more efficient, and sustainable electric school buses in North America, thus elevating the standards for battery electric vehicles (BEVs).


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