First Electric School Buses Deployed In Texas

By Mike Brezonick09 December 2020

The first zero-emissions electric school buses in the state of Texas were recently received by the Everman Independent School District, which is within the Dallas-Ft. Worth corridor. The three buses, manufactured by Blue Bird Corp., began transporting students this school year.

“We are thankful that the board of trustees approved the purchase of three new Blue Bird electric buses,” said Everman ISD school superintendent Curtis Amos. “Everman ISD is certainly proud to be the first in the state to receive the electric buses.”

Blue Bird’s All American electric school buses produce zero emissions and have fewer parts when compared with a diesel bus. Their performance is comparable to a bus powered by a combustion engine, and their quiet performance allows the driver to better hear the passengers they are transporting.

Cummins Powertrain

The Blue Bird buses being used by the Everman schools incorporate a Cummins PowerDrive 7000 electric propulsion system that consists of a 315 peak hp Dana T4M Sumo electric motor and 155 kWh and lithium-ion NMC/G energy storage cell positioned between the frame rails, all operated through Cummins battery management and control systems.  The electric propulsion system delivers an operating range of up to 120 miles on a charge and recharging is through a standard CCS1 connector with ac and dc fast charging capabilities.

“The electric buses were a great opportunity to bring new technology and safety to the school district in the form of transportation, and to the state of Texas,” said Jason Gillis, transportation director for Everman ISD. “We’ve been monitoring our energy costs for our electric buses and we are already experiencing a substantial savings in fuel costs. These buses are the best thing for our community and our kids, allowing the district to save money and improve air quality.”

With help from its local dealer, Rush Bus Centers, and the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the district was able to fund the buses and charging stations with grants from the Volkswagen settlement. Based on data the district has provided, it is looking to save over $4000 a year on fuel savings and $2000 a year on maintenance savings when compared with the diesel buses in its fleet.

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