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HomeIndustry ReleasesZonar Expands Electric School Bus Support with State-of-Charge Insights

Zonar Expands Electric School Bus Support with State-of-Charge Insights

New range awareness data helps mixed and EV bus fleets optimize routes and maximize ROI

SEATTLE — Zonar, the leader in smart mobility solutions, today announced the availability of state-of-charge (SoC) data for electric vehicle (EV) school buses. Joining a suite of smart fleet solutions for EV buses, SoC is captured with the Zonar V4 telematics control unit, providing school transportation departments with real-time awareness of each EV’s range and charging status.

Fleets use SoC to optimize bus and route resourcing, and manage all EV bus insights alongside internal combustion engine (ICE) bus data in the same fleet management platform, Zonar Ground Traffic Control®, including:

  • Precise vehicle location in real time
  • Current and historical state-of-charge data
  • Stop-by-stop driving and charge analysis
  • Trip duration and trip history

Current and historical SoC data provide school transportation departments with new, actionable insights to make critical and daily fleet management decisions, such as:

  • Analyze how much energy each bus consumes by route on a day-to-day basis.
  • Identify which vehicle type (ICE or EV) or EV manufacturer is better suited for each route.
  • View whether buses are fully charged before they leave the yard.
  • Understand how idle energy, weather conditions, frequent stops and long-range routes impact power utilization.
  • Determine which EV buses can pick up an extra route based on their current charge status.

As transportation departments transition aging ICE buses out and incorporate more EVs into their fleets, they benefit from an end-to-end platform that can easily manage both EV and ICE buses for GPS tracking, diagnostics and driver productivity to increase safety, efficiency, compliance and on-time performance.

“Zonar’s solutions have proven essential to our fleet and to the overall understanding of how school districts can incorporate electric buses into their transportation programs,” said John Burciaga, fleet maintenance manager at CalStart. “With Zonar’s SoC and location data, we gain insight into range awareness and each driver’s location, enhancing confidence in assigned routes. Zonar also allows us to provide CalStart with the data it needs to assist in grant reporting. We are proud to partner with Zonar.”

Coupled with products such as Zonar Electronic Verified Inspection Reporting (EVIR) and Zonar OnRoute™ turn-by-turn navigation, which also support and enhance optimization of EV bus use, transportation departments have a comprehensive suite of solutions across all bus types to manage their fleets easier and make more informed decisions, faster. Zonar’s technology supports the largest EV school bus deployments in the United States and Canada and has doubled year-over-year deployment from 2022 to 2023.

“We understand that EV adoption is a journey and school districts need a solution that meets them where they are now to outfit every bus in the fleet for optimal performance and safety,” said Tim Ammon, vice president and general manager of passenger services at Zonar. “At Zonar, we are partners in helping pupil fleets gain ROI on their EV investments every step of the way – from deployment to training and everyday management – while optimizing routes based on charging and resourcing needs.”

Zonar’s EV solutions support leading manufacturers including The Lion Electric Co., Blue Bird, IC Bus, and Thomas Built Buses.

About Zonar

Founded in 2001, Zonar has pioneered smart mobility solutions throughout vocational, pupil, mass transit and commercial trucking industries. The Zonar mission is to enhance the safety, performance, and success of our customers by transforming the delivery of innovative insights for commercial fleets around the world. Zonar achieves this by helping fleets of all sizes maximize the use of their assets with solutions dedicated to improving compliance, efficiency, maintenance, ridership visibility, safety, and tracking. Cloud-based services with open APIs drive Zonar smart mobility solutions by making it easy for fleet owners and managers to stay connected to their fleets and drivers and operators to dispatch. Headquartered in Seattle and part of the Continental family, Zonar also has a Technology Development Center in downtown Seattle and a distribution center in West Chicago.

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