HomePartner UpdatesPontiac School District Partners with BorgWarner for DC Fast Charger Solution

Pontiac School District Partners with BorgWarner for DC Fast Charger Solution

An interview with Bill Holcomb, Energy & Technology Specialist for the School District of the City of Pontiac.

This content is brought to you by BorgWarner. 

SCHOOL DISTRICT OF THE CITY OF PONTIAC’S STORY

In the summer of 2022, the School District of the City of Pontiac was awarded an EPA grant from the Clean School Bus Program of $9.875 million to support the purchase of new electric school buses and the required charging infrastructure for those buses. We began working with BorgWarner at that time to design a facility to host the infrastructure for our buses.

The district currently has 50 diesel buses, which we’ll replace in the coming months. With 25 electric buses provided by the EPA funding, that will give us 50% of our daily routes. The expected second round of funding from the EPA will be able to increase our buses to 40, making us likely the first district in the nation to have a fully electric bus fleet.

BorgWarner’s chargers have the ability to provide sequential charging. That means we can charge five of our buses (one at a time) from a single DC fast charging solution. This decreases the amount of energy that will be required to have from our utility provider and be more efficient across all our buses.

The new electric school buses will assist us with providing health and welfare aspects to our students. The buses run quieter and cleaner than diesel buses, so the mental state of the kids when they get to school should be much better than they are today.

BorgWarner’s chargers have the ability to provide sequential charging. That means we can charge five of our buses (one at a time) from a single DC fast charging solution.

This decreases the amount of energy required from our utility provider and is more efficient for our fleet charging demands.

The new electric school buses will assist us with providing health and welfare aspects to our students. The buses run quieter and cleaner than diesel buses, so the mental state of the students when they get to school should be much better than they are today.

We also plan on providing the buses to our community. During crisis situations, we can provide power to the buildings, set up triage centers for displaced people, and give them a place to go that has power, warmth, and a place to escape the elements.

We are very thankful to the EPA, BorgWarner, our utility companies, and the partners that allowed us the ability to put in these electric buses and charging infrastructure.

We look forward to going down this path of electrification for all our fleet vehicles down the road.

BORGWARNER SOLUTIONS

Future-Proof DC Fast Charging Solutions for Fleets Handle

When it comes to electric vehicle chargers, there are several choices. There’s level one, which can give you about three to five miles per hour or charging. There’s level two, which provides you with about 20 to 25 miles. We offer DC fast charging, which delivers 60 kilowatts and higher which fully charges the battery in a fraction of the time. This is critical because you often don’t have hours or days to sit idle to charge when delivering kids to school, home, or events.

In addition, BorgWarner DC chargers give you a full future-proof opportunity to not only charge the vehicles you have today but also in the future.

BorgWarner works closely with bus manufacturers to do testing and interoperability at our factory and UL laboratory in Dearborn, Michigan. Chargers designed and manufactured in the USA are key because a lot of money that goes into electric school buses comes from our tax dollars as part of the Clean Bus EPA program. Selecting made-in-the-USA charging equipment helps maximize your funding opportunities.

Sequential Charging for Fleets Depots

Sequential charging enables you to use one DC fast charger and five dispensers. This charges one bus at a time at DC fast charging speeds.

At the end of the day, when the bus comes into the depot, each bus will charge one at a time until each battery is full.

Lower Installation and Infrastructure Costs

The sequential charging configuration only requires one connection to the grid. To compare that to five level two chargers, you would need five connections to the grid – five 100 amp breakers. A 60-kilowatt DC fast charger only requires one breaker and one connection to the electrical panel. This can lower the installation and infrastructure costs.

Five ports of sequential DC fast chargers require only one connection to the grid compared to five grid connections for Level 2 charger ports.

Bidirectional Charging & Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G)

Bidirectional charging capabilities are another feature that makes our chargers future-proof. This unique feature allows fleet operators to take the energy in the bus battery and send it back to the grid or the building during power outages and times of need.

Bidirectional charging can send power from the EV battery back to the grid or power buildings.

Your electric school bus or commercial vehicle is an asset the school system already paid for that can be leveraged for other uses.

Tailored Charging Solutions

Each school district has specific requirements. BorgWarner learned how they use their buses and duty cycles by partnering with the School District of the City of Pontiac. Together, we created a solution that can meet their near-term and future needs with bidirectional charging capabilities.

BorgWarner is excited about the partnership and the EPA program because it provides the opportunity to aid the most precious part of our society: children.

Contact BorgWarner to learn more about future-proof charging solutions for your fleet.

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