Things seem to be moving along nicely with regard to one of the most promising applications of electric vehicle technology — all-electric school buses that can potentially replace the diesel-spewing ones in common use today.
Two new data points on the matter:
- Lion Bus has officially unveiled the eLion electric school bus, which was developed in partnership with the government of Québec and with the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, in Palo Alto.
- Blue Bird has been awarded $4.4 million by the US Department of Energy to develop an electric school bus featuring vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology.
With regard to the latter subject, that means that Blue Bird now has around $8.8 million in funds to work with (matching funding from the DOE). The company currently aims to demonstrate a fleet of 8 V2G buses by 2019 in California. The idea behind these buses is of course to make the buses useful when not ferrying students to and from school — potentially earning money for the school districts that own them when not in direct use.
Autoblog provides more: “In related news, Lion Bus has unveiled its eLion electric school bus in Palo Alto. The eLion was developed in partnership with the government of Québec (where Lion Bus is based) and the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). The involved parties note that clean air is important near schools as the developing lungs of children are particularly susceptible to the dangers of pollution (the EPA is making Halliburton pay to clean up air at California schools for just this reason).”
The eLion buses will be manufactured in California. As we reported previously, school districts in Massachusetts have already signed on to purchase some of the initial production. For more details on the bus, check out this extensive, exclusive article: “Lion Bus Shows Off The New eLion Electric School Bus.”