Collins Bus, a leading manufacturer of Type A School Buses and a subsidiary of REV Group, and Lightning eMotors announced a strategic partnership to manufacture and deploy all-electric Type A school buses. Lightning will provide all-electric powertrains including installation, and charging infrastructure products and services; the agreement includes an initial firm order commitment worth approximately $11 million over the next two years
Collins Bus has deployed more than 70,000 buses over the last 50 years across the United States and Canada.
The all-electric Type A school buses each will have a gross vehicle weight of 14,500 pounds and will feature NMC batteries using industry-leading battery thermal management and safety systems. The buses will support both Level 2 AC charging and Level 3 DC fast charging, with integrated vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capabilities.
Other features will include a modern digital-dash display, hill-hold functionality for safety, advanced telematics, analytics, and a mobile app for drivers and fleet managers.
The US Senate recently voted for a $1-trillion infrastructure bill. The bill includes $7.5 billion dedicated to building additional charging stations for electric vehicles, while another $7.5 billion would help fund swapping out current school buses. The bill is now in the house, pending major negotiations, with an expected vote date before 27 September.
According to the Clean Energy Leadership Institute, there are roughly 480,000 school buses being used for school transportation in the US. These buses travel a total of nearly 3.5 billion miles each year, and nearly 95% of them run on diesel or gasoline fuel. These buses are parked during peak electric grid hours in the afternoon and all summer, with available energy to put back on the grid through Lightning’s V2G solution.
The first batch of all-electric Collins school buses leveraging Lightning’s EV technology is already in production, with buses expected to be delivered to dealerships and school districts this fall.