Standing Offer that is available to all local school districts for purchasing new vehicles. IC said the order represents the largest placed by a Canadian province to date. “Electric school buses are the natural next step to con-

tinue on the path towards zero greenhouse gasses for the future of the children we serve,” said Robyn Stephen- son, the manager of transportation services for School District No. 22 in Vernon, British Columbia, which will receive two of the electric Type Cs. “IC Bus was able to provide a terrific product and the support necessary to help us truly achieve our sustainability goals.” IC Bus and NEXT, parent company Navistar’s eMobil-

ity business unit, consulted for the past 18 months with local transportation supervisors to obtain real-world operational data, route-profiles and climate data. IC said it soon became apparent that British Columbia school boards needed guidance on charging infrastructure. As a result, each school board will re- ceive complimentary site planning services from NEXT that provide the “4 C’s” of consulting, construction, charging and connecting. IC Bus is scheduled to deliver the 13 CE electric buses in Janu- ary before rolling out additional buses across North America. In doing so, IC Bus said it will offer an option to school districts for the largest-capacity battery avail- able at 315 kW hours. Jason Gies, the director of busi-

ness development for NEXT, added that the majority of British Colum- bia school districts chose to install DC chargers from preferred partner In-Charge. Those projects are already underway. But Gies shared that IC Bus is charger agnostic and that customers will be able to choose between installing AC and DC chargers, based on which one is appropriate for their duty cycles. Range, though difficult to accurately predict based

Batteries Included “We thought we could charge two buses at the same

time,” commented Richard Gallagher, director of trans- portation for Bay Shore Schools on Long Island, New York. Bay Shore contracts with Suffolk Transportation. The chargers provided enough amperage, Gallagher ex- plained, “but we needed to split out the chargers for each bus rather than grouping them in twos. We experiment- ed with putting one bus inside the shop but wound up also installing extra insulation around the batteries, and putting a bra on the bus to help keep the radiator warm.” Rick Reichenbach, president of Bird Bus Sales on Long

of r 4% eaders say they

currently have electric school buses in their fleet. (Out of 214

responses to a recent School Transportation News survey.)


Island, pointed out a new thermal system that improves charging and heating efficiency as well as improves insulation that retains heat within the body of the bus and the battery pack system. “As time goes on and this technology improves, electric buses will become even more cost effective,” he added. Back at Twin Rivers, Shannon said the buses are now getting between 100 and 125 miles on one charge, and the cost is going down on batteries. “It’s more economical to have the longer range bus,” he suggested. “With Lion buses, you can buy a 100, 125, or 150-mile model. There is extra space for the batteries, and the batteries are smaller than they used to be.” Despite having more experience

of readers with electric buses say they have a recycling plan for the batteries.

with electric than anyone else in the nation, Shannon said he has yet had to deal with disposing of the batteries at their end of life, a common concern voiced by stu- dent transporters who are wary of transitioning to electric. “Our original Lion buses have lost less than 2 percent of their capabil- ity, so we’re talking 10 or 12 [more] years down the road before we have

on driving conditions, geography, and use of auxiliary equipment, is expected to be about 200 miles per charge, shared Gies. He added that V2G will eventually be avail- able. But more vital, said Gies, is the work IC Bus and NEXT are and have been doing with the local school dis- tricts on driver training, charging processes, and staying within budgets. “This isn’t a typical type of project,” he said. “The British Columbia government looked at this as, how do we scale this? The way it was funded was much more thoughtful.”

to think about replacing them. The batteries will still have about 80-percent of their capacity then, so there will be a repurposing of these batteries. Maybe they’ll be used for stand-alone solar storage,” he commented. “There will be some software management system that can manage a variety of these batteries to use what’s left in them and recycle the materials in them. They aren’t going to wind up in landfills.” As far as generating the electricity used to charge the

batteries, most of Sacramento’s energy is provided by wind, solar, or hydro-electric. The city, which is also the capital of California, is known for many green initiatives and being 29

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