Lion Bus Unveils Electric School Bus, Blue Bird To Follow

Lion Bus and Blue Bird will lead the way forward for electric school buses.

At the end of last year, the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) announced plans to award $15 million to organizations to expedite the advancement of alternative fuel vehicles. Last month, the DoE awarded Blue Bird with $4.4 million to manufacture a zero-emission electric school bus with vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology.

The company also received funding from California, along with public and private entities, giving the bus manufacturer a total of over $9 million. With its funding, Blue Bird plans to build a fleet of eight buses that will be deployed in California in 2019, the company said in a statement.

The bus needs to be affordable and will be able to funnel electricity back into the grid which the company sees as a way of funding school districts in need. Developing an electric school bus and the V2G technology should also create more jobs or that’s at least what Michael Simon, President and CEO of TransPower, hopes.

“Supplying electric drive components for say, 500 buses a year, would have the potential to create up to 250 new jobs in California,” Simon said.

SEE ALSO: Study: Electric Buses Will Lead The Way In EV Development

Blue Bird isn’t the only company that’s working on an electric bus. Lion Bus, a Canadian-based bus manufacturer, unveiled the eLion electric school bus (pictured above) in Palo Alto, Calif. earlier this week. The eLion, the company said in a statement, is the first Type C electric school bus that’s made in North America and is the result of a partnership between the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and the government of Québec.

Lion Bus also said that with help from GO-Biz it would look for a new manufacturing facility in California, as the company plans to increase its production.

Both Lion Bus and GO-Biz are hoping to improve children’s health within the state with the eLion.

“The eLion Type C electric school bus demonstrates that we can dramatically improve the health of our children by deploying zero emissions vehicles where it matters most, at home and at our schools,” said Tyson Eckerle, the Deputy Director of Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) Infrastructure at the California GO-Biz.


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