Blue Bird Corp has premiered its next-generation Vision electric school bus. The Blue Bird Vision combines the expertise of Blue Bird’s decades of school bus design and the electric propulsion knowledge and technology of Accelera, a Cummins corporation.
The new Vision Type C includes a next-gen battery with a 196 kWh capacity, boosting battery capability by 25 percent over the previous model. This gives the Vision school bus a range of up to 130 miles per charge and the battery recharges in three hours at an 80 kW fast charger.
Blue Bird’s warranty for the battery is extended to include 360 MWh of energy throughput, which doubles what was available before. This allows the bus to be used as a vehicle-to-grid (V2G) power storage option without concern for losses over added charge cycles.
The next-generation batteries in the Blue Bird Vision Type C reduce weight as well, saving 1,000 pounds per bus despite seating capacity increasing by five passengers (72 to 77). Improved engineering for thermal management has increased cold weather performance as well, limiting heat losses while the cabin heating system improves output by 20 percent.
Blue Bird builds the Vision and other electric vehicles at its Fort Valley, Georgia plant. Capacity for electric school buses is set to increase to 5,000 units per year.
Aaron is an automotive journalist living in Wyoming, USA. His background includes technology, mechanics, commercial vehicles, and new vehicle evaluations. Aaron is a member of several automotive media groups and writes for many well-known publications.