Meet The Electric School Bus Of Our Dreams – 120 Mile chargE debuts (video)

NOV 29 2017 BY MARK KANE 20

IC Bus, a wholly owned subsidiary of Navistar, has unveiled its first all-electric school bus – the chargE, from the 2017 National Association for Pupil Transportation Annual Conference and Trade Show.

IC Electric Bus, the chargE

The chargE concept is fully operational, and isscheduled for production in 2019.

The all-electric range of the ebus is stated at 120 miles (193 km), with the power-train using a 260 kW electric motor.

And as it turns out, the Volkswagen Truck & Bus group was already engaged in the development of the chargE, following an earlier Navistar/Volkswagen partnership in electric medium-duty truck segment.

“IC Bus today unveiled the IC Electric Bus chargE™, its new electric CE Series concept school bus developed with its alliance partner, Volkswagen Truck & Bus. The chargE was designed to give customers a zero-emissions school bus option while lowering the total cost of ownership and offering user-friendly options and features with diesel-like performance.”

“The new chargE concept electric school bus incorporates a common group electric drivetrain from Volkswagen Truck & Bus that is quiet, does not produce any emissions, and can be built to address any school bus customer’s specific requirements. The range of the chargE can exceed 120 miles, while the powertrain can deliver up to 260 kW (about 349 peak horsepower).”

“At the inaugural North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta this past September, Navistar and Volkswagen Truck & Bus Group announced plans to develop an electric-powered, medium-duty vehicle for Navistar’s Core (U.S. and Canada) market, which it also expects to launch as early as 2019. The chargE concept vehicle represents the second electric powertrain vehicle coming out of the alliance built with a common group electric drivetrain from Volkswagen Truck & Bus.”

Bill Kozek, senior vice president, Strategic Initiatives, Navistar said:

“The chargE demonstrates how our alliance with Volkswagen Truck & Bus is allowing us to move even faster into electric powertrains and other advanced technologies, thanks to our ability to leverage both companies’ technology investments and components,”.

Trish Reed, vice president and general manager, IC Bus said:

“Additionally, our electric school bus is another example of how IC Bus is driving the future of school bus transportation by providing a wide range of powertrain solutions, including electric propulsion, propane, gasoline and diesel,”.

“We’re proud to introduce our electric powertrain concept vehicle engineered to meet the demands of the 21st century school bus industry. As battery technology evolves, we continue to explore a variety of electric technologies to meet our customers’ needs in the final design of the CE Series electric-powered school bus.”

“We are embracing technology and innovation that make drivers safer and more satisfied, while providing the school bus industry with vehicles that are safe, reliable and efficient. IC Bus leads the school bus industry in uptime through a powerful combination of manufacturing excellent products and having the industry’s strongest dealer network that keeps our customers’ buses on the road.”

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20 Comments on "Meet The Electric School Bus Of Our Dreams – 120 Mile chargE debuts (video)"

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How many miles of range does 120 convert to if we win the battle on childhood obesity? 😛

Childhood Obesity.

These busses are only for those who grew up in Log Cabins and otherwise had to walk 15 miles to school every day.

Man, I can’t wait to see this thing drag against a Diesel bus

Wait, I have another one:

Yeah, but how many motorcycles can it jump?

Already available:

Ok, only 100 miles, but meet probably more than 80% of transporter needs.

Maybe a lack of marketing and not being a big corp. like Navistar make this bus a little unknown.

Why the same ugly design from the 50s???

Why not?

Totally agree – get some better looks, better aerodynamics. I bet they just put the motor where the engine was and its drivinf thru the axle & diff etc instead of direct to wheels.

Why? These things are going 0-30 mph on most of their routes. Keep it cheap, use existing chassis.

Cutting out those parts would make it cheaper.

We could have done EV buses decades ago. Lots of children have inhaled diesel exhaust over those years.

Wonder what kind of heating is used. Having driven a school bus in Rocky Mountain winters, I know that powerful heating will be required to hear the bus’ large interior volume. Resistance heater would rapidly discharge its battery pack. Heat pump heating would not work well in very cold temperatures. A hydrocarbon heater might make the most sense.

That and perhaps seat heaters…

Someone mentioned on a different thread seat warmers that only worked when the seat belt was buckled.

“Wonder what kind of heating is used.”

I’d think “shore power” preheating of the cabin’s thermal mass and the presence of the large thermal mass of the battery-conditioned skateboard floor would go a long way towards reducing the need for electric-resistive heat. Navistar may need to add more (or better) insulation to the headliner and walls, like Toyota did in the roof of the original Prius.

I never knew school buses had heaters.
Our drivers looked like they were dressed for the Iditarod. They were just as old on the inside as they were on the outside.

School buses and mail trucks seem likely candidates for electrification. Diesel particulates in the lungs of our children? Lets take care of that! 480,000 school buses ply our roads every day in the USA.

Seatbelts seem an often overlooked detail due to budgets. Bus companies and state governments insist “compartmentalization” is the key to child safety in buses. To me, it’s a word that means BS. True, buses go 30-35 mph most of the time. It’s those field trips on the freeways and highway speeds where seatbelts are crucial. My state has no seatbelt law for school buses.

I’d take care of the seatbelt issue before the EV bus issue, although both seem very important and should be mandatory.

Emotional argument would be that we have seatbelts in cars, so why not buses. They are mandatory in small buses. But they are not very helpful in big school buses – school buses are already quite safe, only 4 out of 500 deaths during school travel hours are in school buses. You may spend the same money on other safety aspects and have better results.

In Sweden seat belts are mandatory in all buses.

The more the merrier. Soon all school buses will be electric.

We already have a company here in Quebec, Canada that are producing electric school buses since 1 or 2 years… Take a look…