Conventional and Type A school bus manufacturer TransTech Bus today had on display its first all-electric school bus developed in partnership with Motiv Power Systems at the NAPT Annual Summit trade show in Grand Rapids, Mich.
The new, Type A Trans Tec/Motiv SST-e bus, scheduled to be ready for next year, is built on a Ford E450 chassis, and utilizes the Motiv electric Powertrain Control System (ePCS), which is compatible with various chassis, as well as any battery currently on the market or in the future. The bus’ passenger capacity is 30 students, or 24 students and one wheelchair, and is available with range options of 80 or 100 miles.
The ePCS is installed as a Ford slip-through chassis modification similar to a CNG modification, enabling minimal changes between the fossil fuel and electric versions of the school buses. Company officials said one battery pack could be replaced without having to replace all the batteries on the vehicle.
Motiv’s onboard fast charging technology enables the bus to reach a 50-percent charge in less than an hour and a full charge in eight. And the low-cost 3-phase fast charging requires minimal building modifications and no expensive charging stations, according to company officials.
The bus also is equipped with telemetry systems, providing real-time route data and preventive maintenance reports to fleet managers. The cloud-stored data can be viewed on the Web and through smartphones.
Some of the first SST-e buses will be delivered to Kings Canyon Unified School District, located in California’s San Joaquin Valley. They were funded in part by the California Air Resources Board AB 118 Air Quality Improvement Program Electric School Bus Demonstration Project.
“An electric bus can save a school district about 16 gallons of fuel a day, or around $11,000 in fuel savings over a year, not to mention maintenance savings,” said John Phraner president of TransTech. “We are very excited to continue to help school districts reduce their transportation budgets and are committed to opening the market for the all-electric school bus.”