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Blue Bird to offer electric repower option for school buses

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Blue Bird Corporation will offer a factory-certified electric repower program on select gasoline and propane-powered Blue Bird school buses. The company is collaborating with Lightning eMotors to develop this repower electric vehicle (EV) powertrain system jointly.

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Blue Bird will launch the repower program in 2023 for gasoline and propane-powered Blue Bird Vision Type C school buses built after September 2021. The electric repower system will enable customers to expect the same performance and safety standards from OEM-built electric vehicles, the company says. The electric powertrain system will allow for several battery configurations from 100 kWh to 225 kWh supporting a projected vehicle range of up to 150 miles on a single charge, depending on battery configuration.

The school bus conversion process from gasoline or propane-powered to electric will be done to the same OEM safety and quality standards as a new Blue Bird bus at authorized Blue Bird and Lightning eMotors conversion centers in the United States and Canada, the company says. Technicians will replace the internal combustion engine with an EV powertrain, test the equipment, and certify the school bus. The bus will retain the remainder of its original warranties, and the EV powertrain will be issued a new OEM warranty. The full power process could be completed within 30 days from vehicle delivery to the authorized conversion center.

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