As the IC Electric School Bus chargE continues its tour throughout North America, school bus industry stakeholders and groups that are focused on clean technologies and innovations continue to study the concept electric bus firsthand.
As an early example of Navistar’s alliance with Volkswagen Truck and Bus (now known as TRATON), which will also include a previously announced electric medium-duty truck for the North American market, the chargE™ brings together multiple concepts and technologies that will shape the school bus of the future.
As the only original equipment manufacturer (OEM) that offers a fully integrated electric school bus, IC Bus took a focused approach on the IC Electric Bus chargE Tour, concentrating on the technology of the product, its performance, and where the company is headed in the future.
Electric Technology Tailor-Made for School Buses
The chargE is a purpose-built, fully-integrated electric Type C concept school bus that incorporates a common group electric drivetrain from alliance partner TRATON. The vehicle is quiet, does not produce any emissions, and can be built to address any school bus customer’s specific requirements.
The chargE includes connected systems and remote diagnostics that support vehicle safety, uptime and more efficient vehicle inspections. The chargE also features an exclusive, purpose-built camera solution, the IC Bus Full View Camera Technology by Rosco, that makes the driver’s job easier and safer.
One of the reason’s IC Bus chose to bring the chargE to California’s state capitol, is because Sacramento has purchased the largest amount of electric vehicles per capita in the United States, and there was also a great opportunity to introduce this technology to senior leaders at the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
Taking to the Track
As a presenting sponsor at the Green Transportation Summit & Expo in Tacoma, Washington, IC Bus continued to focus on why the school bus segment is a natural fit to bring electrification to the commercial vehicle market.
“As the U.S. thinks about cleaner commercial transportation moving forward, electrification is a big piece of the puzzle, and school buses, along with medium-duty vehicles, are the logical starting point,” said Trish Reed, vice president and general manager, IC Bus. “These vehicles travel shorter distances and typically return to their base overnight, making the charging infrastructure less complex. And more significantly, they will provide immediate environmental benefits, especially in urban areas.”
The range of the chargE can exceed 120 miles, while the powertrain can deliver up to 260 kW (about 349 peak horsepower). The electric motor in the chargE has about as much torque and horsepower as a competing 8-liter diesel engine. Having customers and industry stakeholders experience the technology was one of the primary objectives IC Bus wanted to demonstrate on the tour. This event in Tacoma marked the first time that customers and industry stakeholders were able to get behind the wheel of the electric bus to experience the technology first-hand, and it didn’t disappoint.
The future is now
The last stop of the west coast portion of the Electric Bus Tour was at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Long Beach, California, earlier this year. In the past, Navistar had participated in the conference, but this is the first time the company showcased some of the innovative technologies that they’ve been working toward. A number of company leaders also had the chance to speak about the opportunity to use electrification and other advanced technologies, to drive step changes in the commercial vehicle industry.
“Major leaps forward in connectivity, propulsion and automation are offering commercial truck and bus users the opportunity to achieve new levels of fuel efficiency, safety and productivity,” said Darren Gosbee, Navistar VP of powertrain & advanced engineering. “As a leading OEM addressing a wide range of specialized needs, we believe it’s our responsibility to help customers apply these technologies in smart ways that will deliver the most benefit for their particular application.”
Check out Episode 1: Batteries (video below) of the IC Electric Bus Tour to hear what industry stakeholders had to say about the chargE electric bus in Sacramento, California.
To learn more about the chargE and additional advanced technologies from IC Bus, and to watch episodes two and three of the IC Electric Bus chargE Tour, visit at: icbus.com/electricbustour