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Blue Bird fills its largest order of electric school buses

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Blue Bird Corporation reports it has received the single-largest order of electric school buses from a school district in its history. Modesto City Schools in California purchased 30 zero-emission school buses. The order enables the school district to rapidly convert nearly 50% of its diesel-powered bus fleet to clean energy. Thereby, Modesto City Schools will considerably reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions while improving community health, Blue Bird says.

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Modesto City Schools will benefit from significant cost-saving opportunities by reducing or eliminating the fuel and maintenance costs tied to traditional diesel-powered vehicles, Blue Bird adds. Select Blue Bird customers reported fuel costs of up to 49 cents per mile for their diesel buses, compared to an average 14 cents per mile in energy costs for electric buses. Modesto City Schools anticipates saving more than $250,000 a year in fuel costs alone by converting nearly half of its diesel-powered fleet to electric vehicles.

Modesto City Schools purchased Blue Bird All American Type D electric school buses. The district anticipates delivery of the zero-emission vehicles in the fourth quarter 2022. Blue Bird electric buses can carry a maximum of 84 passengers for up to 120 miles on a single charge. They take between three and eight hours to fully recharge depending on the charging infrastructure.

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Blue Bird’s electric school buses were partially funded by California’s Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP). The California Air Resources Board (CARB) launched the program in 2009. HVIP is administered by CALSTART, a national clean transportation nonprofit consortium.

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