Electric School Buses From Thomas Built, Blue Bird, and IC Bus Introduced


Three major school bus manufacturers introduced battery-electric school buses at the recent National Association for Pupil Transportation Annual Conference and Trade Show in Columbus, Ohio (NAPT). Two of those buses, one from Thomas Built Buses, the other from Blue Bird, use an electric powertrain from Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. The third, from IC Bus, uses a common Volkswagen Group electric drivetrain from Volkswagen Truck & Bus.

Thomas Built Buses, a subsidiary of Daimler, introduced the Saf-T-Liner C2 Electric Bus dubbed “Jouley.” Production of the bus is expected to begin in 2018 with the bus capable of carrying up to 81 children.  The first-generation will be equipped with EDI’s PowerDrive 7000ev powertrain, providing 100-160 kWh of battery capacity and a range of 100 miles or more between charges. Room for additional battery packs is available for more range.  Integrated power export options allow the bus to power facilities or external items (lighting, etc) in emergency or off-grid situations.

“Ikone unter Strom: Daimler stellt seinen ersten vollelektrischen Schulbus in den USA vor”
“An icon goes electric: Daimler introduces its first all-electric school bus in the US”

The bus from Blue Bird is the Vision Electric Type C school bus with a powertrain supplied by ADOMANI and EDI. This bus features a 100-mile range, a charge time of under 8 hours (type 2), and 150 kWh of batteries on board. The bus is very similar to the Type D rear-engine electric school bus shown at a tradeshow earlier this year.

Navistar IC unveiled their electric bus chargE as a CE Series concept school bus. Powertrain tech from alliance partner Volkswagen Truck & Bus is used for a range of up to 120 miles per charge. Launch date is expected to be in 2019

The Navistar IC Electric Bus chargE is an electric CE Series concept school bus developed with EV alliance partner, Volkswagen Truck & Bus. The company expects to launch its first unit as early as 2019.