Blue Bird's electric Vision school buses can carry 72 students up to 230 miles on a single charge. - Photo: Blue Bird Corporation

Blue Bird's electric Vision school buses can carry 72 students up to 230 miles on a single charge.

Photo: Blue Bird Corporation

Blue Bird Corporation is supplying 60 electric school buses to Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) in Florida. The delivery represents the largest electric school bus fleet purchase in Blue Bird’s history.

Through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Electric School Bus Project, BCPS is replacing part of its diesel fleet with zero-emission vehicles.

What’s Hitting the Road for Broward Schools?

Blue Bird will provide its most advanced Vision electric school buses to BCPS. Each vehicle can carry 72 students for up to 120 miles on a single charge. Depending on the charging infrastructure, the bus takes between three and eight hours to recharge fully.

BCPS maintains a bus fleet of more than 1,200 vehicles with various propulsion systems, including 515 Blue Bird buses. BCPS school buses travel more than 67,000 miles each school day, as they pick up and safely transport 54,000 students to and from schools.

“Broward County Public Schools is excited to be the first school district in South Florida to pilot the use of electric buses in lowering emissions from our bus fleet,” said BCPS Superintendent Dr. Earlean Smiley. “This project has been in development for several years, and we’re thankful to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Florida Power & Light for providing the essential funding and infrastructure to make it possible.”

How the District Paid for It

BCPS received a nearly $15 million grant from Florida’s Diesel Emissions Mitigation Program, which uses funds from the Volkswagen Settlement and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Diesel Emissions Reduction Act for projects that mitigate diesel emissions from mobile sources. Florida Power & Light Company, the largest power utility in the state, is providing the supporting vehicle charging infrastructure.

Zero-Emissions, but Multiple Benefits

“Zero-emission transportation means cleaner air to breathe,” said Matthew Stevenson, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corporation. “We have served Broward Schools for more than 30 years. We could not be more pleased to help the school district transition to electric buses and clean student transportation.”

Blue Bird Electric buses come standard with vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capability, enabling BCPS to coordinate with local utility companies to manage vehicle charging and return stored energy back to the grid as needed. V2G programs help balance demands on the grid, improve grid resiliency, and lower the overall cost of electric school bus fleets for school districts.
 

 

Originally posted on School Bus Fleet

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