Blue Bird has received the single largest order of electric school buses from a school district in its history. Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) ordered 180 electric, zero-emission school buses through their local Blue Bird dealer, A-Z Bus Sales, Inc.
LAUSD anticipates delivery of the first buses in October 2024 and for the order to be fulfilled in early 2025.
The bus manufacturer has recently delivered its 1,500th electric school bus and celebrated the grand opening of its Electric Vehicle (EV) Build-up Center in Georgia, which will enable the company to increase its long-term production capacity to 5,000 electric school buses a year. Blue Bird’s zero-emission school buses are powered by the electric PowerDrive 7000 system from Accelera by Cummins, which is a result of their long-standing collaboration on technology innovation.
Blue Bird electric school buses for Los Angeles
LAUSD already operates 26 Blue Bird electric school buses in its fleet. Moving forward, the school bus manufacturer will provide 30 Vision and 150 All American electric buses to significantly enlarge the districts’ zero-emission school bus fleet.
Both model vehicles have a range of up to 130 miles on a single charge, according to the manufacturer. Based on LAUSD’s future charging infrastructure, the buses could take between three and eight hours to recharge fully.
Blue Bird stresses that its electric buses come standard with vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capability. This bi-directional charging technology will allow LAUSD to potentially sell excess energy stored in school bus batteries back to electric power companies at a profit. In addition, V2G programs help balance demands on the grid and improve grid resiliency.
“Los Angeles Unified is excited to move toward the electrification of our Sun Valley Bus Yard school buses,” said Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho. “We must fully commit ourselves to creating a model of sustainability that benefits our students, our school communities and generations to come.”
“Blue Bird is recognized as the technology leader and innovator of all-electric school buses. We are thrilled to provide safe, reliable, and – above all – clean student transportation to the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest in the nation,” said Phil Horlock, CEO of Blue Bird Corporation. “Demand for low- and zero-emission school buses remains strong across the United States. Blue Bird will continue to meet and exceed our customer expectations.”
“LAUSD is making a monumental leap forward by committing to an all-electric future and providing a model for other school districts of how a transition of this size can take place,” said John Landherr, President & CEO of A-Z Bus Sales. “We’re proud to have helped LAUSD over the years transition from diesel to alternative fuel CNG and propane buses, and as the No. 1 dealer in electric school buses nationwide, our team is positioned to now support the district at all levels with their EV transition.”