Blue Bird’s New EV Build-Up Center: A New Era in School Bus Manufacturing

What’s Happening

Blue Bird Corporation, renowned for its electric and low-emission school buses, has inaugurated its Electric Vehicle (EV) Build-up Center in Fort Valley, Georgia. The company has revamped an expansive 40,000 sq.ft. facility to facilitate the growing demand for electric school buses. This move amplifies Blue Bird’s electric school bus production capacity from 4 to 20 vehicles daily, showcasing a significant progression in the firm’s operations.

Why It Matters

Electric, zero-emission buses are gaining popularity among U.S. and Canadian school districts, who are aiming to minimize greenhouse gas emissions, boost community health, and curb escalating fuel costs. These regions are increasingly leveraging public funding to hasten the adoption of electric school buses and requisite charging infrastructure. Currently, more than $10 billion is allocated for zero- and low-emission school buses through federal, state, provincial, and local funding. A significant contribution to this fund is the Biden Administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), which has committed a total of $5 billion over five years to promote clean school bus transportation.

Key Points

Blue Bird’s CEO, Phil Horlock, projects an influx of thousands of electric school bus orders over the next five years, estimating a value of around $1 billion. This estimation is based primarily on the allocation from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The newly opened EV Build-up Center highlights Blue Bird’s unwavering dedication to providing clean, safe, and reliable student transportation to school districts across the U.S. and Canada.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it is anticipated that 30 percent of all school buses by 2027 will be electric, a figure expected to increase to 45 percent by 2032. With this projected growth, Blue Bird’s EV Build-up Center is strategically poised to expand its annual production capacity to 5,000 electric school buses.

Bottom Line

The EV Build-up Center, a part of a multi-million dollar investment to upgrade Blue Bird’s Fort Valley site, features a dedicated assembly line for electric school buses. Skilled technicians will install electric batteries and other necessary components to convert the vehicles into emission-free electric school buses. The company, with nearly 1,000 zero-emission school buses currently in operation, continues to assert its position as a leader in clean transportation.

The Center will assemble Vision and All American electric school buses, capable of transporting 77 to 84 students for up to 120 miles on a single charge. It also includes InCharge Energy ICE-30 chargers for flexible charging prior to customer delivery, with a full charge time of approximately four hours.

As the only U.S.-owned and operated school bus manufacturer, Blue Bird’s transition to clean student transportation not only echoes its commitment to a sustainable future but also supports approximately 2,000 jobs.


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