Blue Bird Introduces Vision Electric School Bus

What’s Happening

Blue Bird Corporation, the trailblazer in electric and low-emission school buses, is set to unveil its innovative next-generation Vision electric school bus at STN Expo West, North America’s prominent student transportation industry and technology conference. The cutting-edge, zero-emission vehicle will make its debut from July 14-19, 2023, at booth 317 in the Peppermill Resort in Reno, Nevada.

Why It Matters

This launch solidifies the ongoing alliance between Blue Bird and Cummins’ zero-emissions technology division, Accelera. The revamped Type C electric school bus integrates a tested powertrain platform with a next-generation battery system. With a capacity surge of over 25%, the bus can now travel up to 130 miles on a single charge and boasts a recharge time of just three hours, courtesy of its 80kW fast-charging capabilities.

Key Points

Several enhancements set the Vision bus apart. Blue Bird has upgraded the warranty on the system, accommodating for 360 MWh of energy throughput, more than twice that of the standard battery offering. This proves advantageous for customers leveraging the battery’s revenue-generating vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capabilities, which allow excess energy to be sold back to power companies.

With redesigned compact and lightweight batteries, the new Vision electric bus achieves superior efficiency and sheds approximately 1,000 lbs in weight. Consequently, seating capacity has been boosted to 77 passengers from the previous 72. Additionally, enhanced engineering designs and internal battery insulation improve cold weather performance, while an optional fuel-fired heating system delivers 20% more cabin heat.

Bottom Line

Blue Bird’s upgraded Vision electric school bus represents a significant stride in clean student transportation. With nearly 1,000 electric school buses in operation, Blue Bird is leading the charge towards sustainable, zero-emission transport for school districts across North America. The manufacturing process will continue at Blue Bird’s Fort Valley, Georgia facility, supplemented by its newly inaugurated EV Build-up Center which aims to increase annual production capacity to 5,000 electric buses.

Blue Bird’s collaboration with Accelera reflects their shared commitment to decarbonization, as echoed by Brian Wilson, General Manager of electrified components at Accelera.

In conjunction with the Vision electric bus launch, Blue Bird will also host a panel discussion titled “EV Charging Infrastructure – Everything you need to know from EV charging experts” during the Green Bus Summit at STN Expo West, featuring leading EV charging infrastructure providers.

As the only U.S.-owned and operated school bus manufacturer, Blue Bird continues to pioneer clean transportation, operating over 20,000 propane, natural gas, and electric-powered buses today. This transition helps sustain approximately 2,000 American jobs and emphasizes Blue Bird’s commitment to green transport.


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