Blue Bird Sells Its 300th Electric School Bus, & 1st In Texas

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Electric school buses have been on a roll lately. In the past two months, I’ve covered electric bus stories three times, and we’ve published a few other articles about them as well. This has been uplifting, since I wrote the following just two months ago: “We’ve written about Blue Bird electric school buses a few times, but adoption has not been as quick as an electric enthusiast might have hoped. Air pollution from diesel-fueled buses harms children across the United States every day. Air pollution from diesel fumes has been documented to cause a variety of both severe and mild health problems, including deadly cancers and asthma.”

At that time, Blue Bird (NASDAQ:BLBD) noted a 2020 bright spot — “a surge in demand for their 100% electric school buses.” Now, the news is that the Georgia-based bus company has sold its 300th electric bus. But here’s the real kicker:

While a district in California received the 100th electric bus earlier this year, the 300th fully-electric Blue Bird school bus is slated for delivery soon on the Northeast Coast of the United States, a strong indication of the geographic breadth of interest in EV school buses.”

Blue Bird has gone from 100 electric bus sales to 300 electric bus sales within the year! In fact, that 100th delivery was just in April.

As with any electric vehicle, a common customer concern is how the tech does in cold weather. Blue Bird is quick to point out that it can handle anything the snow gods throw its way (or something like that).

“When it comes to cooler weather, the operation of the bus is generally unaffected,” said Trevor Rudderham, senior vice president of electrification for Blue Bird. “What can be affected, however, is the charging of the batteries. Our new upgrades will make charging more efficient with improved battery insulation and our standard CCS1 connector, which allows for both AC and DC fast charging.”

The company also notes what electric vehicle followers know well — the operational savings from electric buses (low fuel costs and low maintenance costs) mean that many school districts can actually save money with an electric bus. There are also grants and other incentives for buying clean, zero-emission electric buses.

Furthermore, “Blue Bird’s dealer network is equipped to help school districts access the funding, the infrastructure, the training, and the buses needed to save them money while reducing emissions.” Check out its electric bus lineup for more.

300 Electric School Buses in Context

Of course, Blue Bird still has a long way to go — 300 electric buses is a drop in the bucket compared to the 550,000 buses it has sold in total. Though, keep in mind that it has been in business since 1927. 😉

At the moment, the company says that 180,000 of its buses are in operation. It’s going to take a while — and a lot of leadership on many levels — to get from 300 to 180,000 electric buses, but it can be done and the good news is Blue Bird is rolling faster and faster. Keep in mind that Tesla delivered 139,300 electric vehicles just in the 3rd quarter of 2020.

Texas Gets Its 1st Blue Bird Electric School Bus

Other news this week is that Blue Bird has just delivered its first electric school buses to Texas. Everman Independent School District bought three electric school buses from the company.

“We are thankful that the Board of Trustees approved the purchase of three new Blue Bird electric buses,” said Everman ISD school superintendent Curtis Amos, Ed.D. “Everman ISD is certainly proud to be the first in the state to receive the electric buses. These buses are environmentally friendly, we will not have to worry about emissions, they are considerably quieter, and will improve air quality in our district. Most importantly, the buses will contribute to protecting the health of our students,” said Dr. Amos.

Indeed.

“The electric buses were a great opportunity to bring new technology and safety to the school district in the form of transportation, and to the state of Texas,” said Jason Gillis, transportation director for Everman ISD. “We’ve been monitoring our energy costs for our electric buses and we are already experiencing a substantial savings in fuel costs. These buses are the best thing for our community and our kids, allowing the district to save money and improve air quality.”

The school district expects to save more than $4,000 a year on fuel savings and $2,000 a year on maintenance compared to a conventional diesel school bus.

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

Zachary Shahan has 7400 posts and counting. See all posts by Zachary Shahan