Gemilang International Limited is planning to deliver 140 fully electric school buses to schools in California this year. The company, based in Johor, has been designing and manufacturing coaches and buses for over 30 years.
The company has been supplying electric buses to the US since 2016 — mostly using fossil-fueled buses, of course. Chairman and CEO Pang Chong Yong says that the company has also been supplying bus bodies for electric vehicle producers.
“In fact, GML has been supplying bus bodies for various EV makers such as BYD and CRRC to several markets including Malaysia, Singapore, Australia since 2015, and we expect more countries to catch up with the transition to EV as an increasing number of climate change mitigation commitments have been announced by governments around the globe.”
He noted that the order of 120 12-meter school buses and 20 7.5-meter school buses was remarkable because it was a breakthrough for the US market, and this was also the largest quantity from a single order of electric buses that Gemilang has ever received. He also pointed out that the electric school bus market in the US is not only large but has an exponential growth aspect. Part of this is due to President Biden signing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal (Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act) into law last year.
Yong also noted that he was confident that the company would capture a good portion of the US electric bus market.
“With the new plan to convert all 500,000 US school buses to zero-emission vehicles, we are confident to capture more market share with our 3 decades of industry experience as well as our main competitive advantage – aluminium lightweight superstructure.”
Some other key projects that the company has been involved in include the Iskandar Malaysia Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, which is Sarawak’s first electric city bus for the Kuching Metro. Another project is an electric bus pilot project by the Sabah government for public transportation. Gemilang has also been supplying aluminum buses for the past 13 years to companies like Go KL and Rapid KL.
You can see a Gemilang electric bus in a demonstration in the video below by Singapore Buses. The model is by CRRC, but the bodywork is by Gemilang Coachworks.