HomeGreen BusIC Bus Announces Comprehensive Charging Solution for Electric School Buses

IC Bus Announces Comprehensive Charging Solution for Electric School Buses

ANAHEIM, Calif. — IC Bus and International Trucks are partnering with Quanta Services to provide customers will a fully integrated electric experience for customers that includes a “one-stop shop” infrastructure and charging construction.

The news was announced May 3 by Mattias Carlbaum, president and CEO of parent company Navistar, during the ACT Expo at the IC Bus and International booth, one of over 275 exhibits at the four-day event that hosted over 11,000 attendees. He also pointed out the new electrical IC Bus charging platform that was on display. The system is expected to be available later this year.

But the focus of the press conference was the partnership with Quanta Services, an end-to-end solutions provider in the electric power sector, to provide customers with a comprehensive vehicle charging solution aimed at quick and efficient implementation of electric buses and trucks. This includes all analysis, forecasting, planning and executing across the entire electric vehicle life cycle, including all utility work, with a single point of contact.

In addition to Quanta Services, Carlbaum said IC Bus and International are collaborating with other partners, their dealers, and local, federal and state authorities to “take the first, the second and the third step to a de-carbonized future.” He added that IC Bus and International are committed to reaching 50 percent zero emissions by 2030, the caveat being if charging capacity allows it. He also noted that most vehicle segments are expected to reach total cost of ownership (TCO) during this timeframe.

“At that point, nothing will hold this industry back,” he said, noting that net zero should occur well before regulations dictate. “Like most OEMs, we strive to go beyond where the regulators aim. We just ask to be told what to achieve. Trust that the automotive sector solves the question of how to do it.”

Watch interviews interviews from ACT Expo

Trish Reed, vice president of zero emissions, then highlighted the companies’ EV roadmap, which starts with consulting to assess and understand customer needs and concerns. This includes route simulations and TCO calculations to determine when and how to electrify the fleet. The companies will also analyze charging needs, locations of sites, number of chargers needed, and financing, including funding, incentives and grants

Step two is where Quanta Services is critical, she said, as it includes holistic support of utility distribution, coordination, permitting and installation.

“A critical one-stop shop for all infrastructure solutions,” she added. “Our goal is to ensure our customer has their infrastructure and charging in place when the vehicles arrive. We want to serve as the general contractor for our customer to streamline several points of contacts, that way for our customer it’s a very seamless process and we remove the complexity from that.”

Step three is deployment, which Reed said begins when vehicles are ordered. This supports customer locations, the dealers and all customer stakeholders to ensure everyone is ready and on the same page when the vehicles arrive. She explained that remote monitoring ensures the vehicle and chargers are compatible and communicating, and to validate the recommended charging strategy is working as expected.

“Our team also provides training for drivers, the techs and first responders. We can also set up advanced remote diagnostics for both the vehicle and the charger. And finally, we can support the ongoing maintenance and monitoring of the entire EV solution,” she said.

A Navistar spokeswoman told School Transportation News via email that pilots of the comprehensive services alongside Quanta Services will begin “in the near term.”

“Following initial pilots, the intent is to expand broadly,” she added.

Related: Navistar, IC Bus Leaders Discuss Brand, Personal Evolution
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Related: California District ‘Blueprint’ Highlights Benefits of Charge Management Solutions, AC Chargers
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