American bus manufacturer, Blue Bird, has recently delivered their first wave of electric school buses, which were first unveiled in late 2017, in North America just in time for the new school year.
Of the buses delivered, seven Type-D All American Rear Engine Electric school buses were received by customers in California, and one Type A Micro Bird G5 Electric school bus was received by a customer in Ontario.
All of the customers who received electric school buses were able to do so thanks to the help of various financial grants offered by different government programs. These grants were able to pay for all or most of the cost of the electric school buses, and were also able to aid with necessary infrastructure costs.
Jack Matrosov of Wheelchair Accessible Transit, based in Toronto, Ontario, was able to acquire a Micro Bird G5 Electric school bus thanks to the Electric and Hydrogen Vehicle Incentive Program (EHVIP) offered by the Ontario government. Matrosov explained:
“When the EHVIP Grant became available, we were thrilled to find out that Micro Bird had an electric bus solution in the works. Over 90% of our fleet are Micro Bird buses and we feel these buses offer great quality, and good local service when needed.”
The seven Type-D All American Rear Engine Electric school buses delivered in California are larger than the Micro Bird G5, and can accommodate 72 passengers. Districts in California were able to take advantage of California-based grants such as South Coast AQMD and HVIP in order to pay for the buses and necessary infrastructure.
Hector Morales, supervisor of M.O.T. of Mountain View School District in El Monte, CA, stated:
“We were excited to find out, in the midst of the search process, that Blue Bird had created an electric bus solution. Our mechanic is familiar with Blue Bird Type D buses, so it was an easy choice for our fleet.”
Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corporation, had the following to say in regards to the recent delivery of the electric school buses:
“We are thrilled to see our all-new Blue Bird electric school buses going into the hands of customers for the first time. With zero-emissions, our electric school buses provide the cleanest possible environment for our customers and the children they transport. Also, with battery technology constantly advancing and becoming more efficient, we foresee a great future for growth.”