GreenPower’s Multi-Use EV Star Electric Minibus (#CleanTechnica Review)

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GreenPower EV Star Min-eBus

GreenPower recently introduced its first designed-from-scratch electric minibus or large van — called the GreenPower EV Star Min-eBus — which we got to test drive for a CleanTechnica review. GreenPower says the  EV Star Min-eBus meets many needs for fleet owners, and others. Find out how it was to drive and learn more from our talk with GreenPower President Brendan Riley.

GreenPower EV Star Min-eBus

Industry First Purpose-Built Electric Van, The Multitalented GreenPower EV Star Min-eBus

When I first saw the GreenPower EV Star Min-eBus, I thought it was a Mercedes Sprinter electric conversion, a vehicle I’m familiar with. Last year, I drove the Chanje electric van at the Los Angeles Auto Show, another similar vehicle. But this Min-eBus is different.

Brendan Riley smiled, shook my hand, and said the EV Star Min-eBus was designed from scratch keeping in mind the broad platform format of a modern-day minibus/van.

Brendan tells us that the EV Star is perfect for most paratransit fleet owners, but can also serve as an executive shuttle, micro-transit bus, vanpool, and much more. The ground-up design means the frame makes ADA compliances easier to meet. Brendan concluded by saying that the EV Star Min-eBus has a life expectancy of 10 years, something fleet owners favor.

GreenPower EV Star Min-eBus

When it comes to charging matters, the GreenPower EV Star Min-eBus uses a standard J1772 and also comes with CCS fast charging capability that brings it from a depleted state to a full charge in an hour and a half.

GreenPower EV Star Min-eBus

GreenPower EV Star Min-eBusGreenPower EV Star Min-eBus Quick Specs:

  • Length: 25 ft. (7.62 m)
  • Width: 80.3 ” (2.03 m)
  • Height: 106″ (2.69 m)
  • Seating: up to 20
  • Range: up to 200 miles (322 km)

If you’re still confused about mileage, check out GreenPower’s energy consumption calculator.

GreenPower EV Star Min-eBus

The Ride: Stacking Up EVs Against Gasoline & Diesel Shuttles

GreenPower EV Star Min-eBus

A van is a van until you drive a Mercedes Sprinter and realize what a van can do, should do, be able to endure, and still haul enough cargo. These vehicles take regular daily beatings but were engineered to for it. Breaking into that tight market means executing a solid and reliable shuttle that takes advantage of electric benefits. GreenPower’s EV Star Min-eBus steps into the people mover and cargo hauler category comfortably.

Founded in 2010, GreenPower has consistently brought efficient zero-emissions buses to the market. Brendan tells us it is the only manufacturer in North America that produces electric buses for transit, shuttle, tourist, and school operations.

What is particularly attractive about GreenPower’s EV Star Min-eBus is its clean-sheet design approach, giving it a highly versatile profile and a great ride.

Stepping into the GreenPower EV Star Min-eBus feels like … stepping into a shuttle. No big news here … until I noticed the front side-door hinge. Brendan tells me he is proud of how that hinge closes. It brings back the door, lifts it, and closes to as close as possible to a hermetic seal. The armature is a highly simplified door hinge system found on regular buses. It’s just lighter, smaller, simpler, takes less space, and saves on weight, tear, and maintenance.

GreenPower EV Star Min-eBusGetting into the GreenPower EV Star Min-eBus shows a well displayed dash with all basic driver information at a quick glance. The gear shift shows D, N, R — and parking means D + pulling the handbrake.

Behind the wheel, I pull back gently and launch the EV Star forward. The first turn feels tight, and braking is exactly what I would expect from such a vehicle. Now, onto bigger and faster roads. Although, we didn’t take the shuttle on highways, but stayed on surface roads where it would most likely spend the majority of its life.

After a decade of test driving electric vehicles, I’m surprised at little to no ambient noise in an EV, and the EV Star sounds peaceful enough for miles of smooth electric driving.

The many open straight avenues we had showed that the shuttle is equally surefooted on surface roads, highway stretches, and stop-and-go traffic, which is where an electric drivetrain leaves gasoline and diesel engines far behind in the dust.

Final Thoughts On The Multifaceted GreenPower EV Star Min-eBus

Compared to the Mercedes Sprinter, the GreenPower EV Star Min-eBus feels more personal, perhaps due to the size and feel inside. The even floor platform suggests smooth lines and rides. The Chanje also handled well and felt about the same as the EV Star. The GreenPower EV Star Min-eBus differs with its ride feel, though, as it is geared more toward being a people mover, while also fitting the role of electric cargo hauler. IN other words, the GreenPower EV Star Min-eBus felt more like a local to medium transit shuttle. To be fair, the GreenPower EV Star Min-eBus was set up with seats and the Chanje wasn’t. Nonetheless, the EV Star we drove felt more at ease doing both, personal and cargo hauls.

GreenPower EV Star Min-eBus

It’s amazing to see how many electric buses, vans, minibuses, and double-deckers there now are. GreenPower’s EV Star Mon-eBus, a solid platform that can handle many needs, is a great addition. But how about electric double-deckers?

Stay tuned for more.

GreenPower EV Star Min-eBus GreenPower EV Star Min-eBus GreenPower EV Star Min-eBus

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Nicolas Zart

Nicolas was born and raised around classic cars of the 1920s, but it wasn't until he drove an AC Propulsion eBox and a Tesla Roadster that the light went on. Ever since he has produced green mobility content on various CleanTech outlets since 2007 and found his home on CleanTechnica. He grew up in an international environment and his communication passion led to cover electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, renewable energy, test drives, podcasts, shoot pictures, and film for various international outlets in print and online. Nicolas offers an in-depth look at the e-mobility world through interviews and the many contacts he has forged in those industries. His favorite taglines are: "There are more solutions than obstacles." and "Yesterday's Future Now"

Nicolas Zart has 572 posts and counting. See all posts by Nicolas Zart