New V2G Electric School Bus Project Part Of $18 Million Plug-In Push From DoE

JAN 3 2017 BY MARK KANE 19

As part of latest $18 million tranche of alt-fuel development funds, the DoE (Department of Energy Department) will forward $4.9 million to the Blue Bird Body Company for a new all-electric school bus project as 1 of 4 new programs.

Blue Bird and MIcro Bird wish you a safe and happy holiday season!

Blue Bird and MIcro Bird wish you a safe and happy holiday season!

The Blue Bird Body Company will then develop and demonstrate the kid-hauler, complete with vehicle-to-grid capability.

The other three projects are also related to plug-ins (plug-in hybrid trucks and plug-in charging infrastructure):

Odyne Systems, LLC (Pewaukee, WI) will receive $2.9 million to develop and demonstrate plug-in hybrid work trucks (class 7) that reduce fuel consumption by more than 50 percent and eliminate fuel consumption during stationary operations.

PacifiCorp (Portland, OR) will receive $3.9 million to accelerate PEV adoption by developing electric highway corridors along I-15, I-80, I-70, and I-84 in Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming.

Gas Technology Institute (Des Plaines, IL) will receive $4.9 million to deploy multi-fuel stations (including electric vehicle charging stations, compressed natural gas, biofuels, and propane stations) and alternative fuel vehicles (including electric drive) along I-94 from Port Huron, Michigan to the North Dakota border.


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19 Comments on "New V2G Electric School Bus Project Part Of $18 Million Plug-In Push From DoE"

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Well that’s pretty cool…. Five million for a few busses – pull the diesel and plop in a motor and a battery – put a V2G inverter in it to make it trendy. I suppose it could also be used to power the kiddies’ cell phones and laptops in case they got stranded.

Figure that costs around two million to do, and the next 3 million could be pocketed by ‘in-house consultants’.

Nice work if you can get it, – as the song goes.

Then another five million for ‘multi fueled’ dispensories – Diesel (we’ll just use bio-fuel type #2 fuel oil to keep it ‘green’), CNG, Propane (or should I say, “EXCELLENT ENERGY !!!”), and throw a $400 GE Durastation in on some wall someplace for the requisite EVSE.

I just wish I were part of some of these gravy trains. Of course, someone will say 18 mil is no money at all.

Probably that is the reason why the bar here has been set pretty low.

What? No Hydrogen Highway?

Where’s the Governator when we need him?

Oh, that’s right, they said 18 mil not 18 bil

V2G (bidirectional power) is a perfect fit for the school bus duty cycle in markets where “frequency regulation” is well compensated, such as the PJM interconnect. Payments from the electric distribution grid for stabilization services more than pay for battery replacements. The University of Delaware has been leading this work for years. Passenger cars are an even better fit for V2G power. Once the smart grid is ubiquitous, there will be huge potential even for just “down regulation” which does not require reverse flow. And have no doubt, the smart grid is coming.

If a utility needs school busses to perform ‘frequency regulation’ for them then the utility is in serious trouble. Its not that super big a deal anyway, and power factor correction which used to be an annoyance with big windmills is now not a problem since the drives themselves can provide what power factor compensation required – or on the frequency regulation front, can be told to back off momentarily during wind guests. Even solar installations can handle power factor correction, not that they need them themselves. My current solar inverters at my own home have this ability, and they are by no means new – But I just have them adjusted to put out an easy 1.0 pf. There ain’t enough school busses anywhere to make a dime’s worth of difference. Besides, the 350 kw and 750 kw charging schemes all you guys INSIST on mean the one car fast charging at these rates will simply swamp all the supply of school busses in the area – of course, when the problems exist, the school busses won’t be in the garage anyway. So the primary beneficiaries of these schemes are the consultants that come up with the ‘wet’ dreams.

“Smart grids are coming…”

Thankfully, most of these areas where the above nonsense is ‘guaranteed’ is only in places with confiscatory rates.

My utility (British owned-National Grid) put in a proposal to the NYS PSC to INCREASE RATES to implement a ‘full smart grid’, rather like all of ONTARIO, Canada has now.

(Incidentally, your avg Canadian is complaining about how ridiculously high their electric bills are lately, and the bad news is they’ll be greatly increasing every year for at least a decade more).

NG’s proposal specifically said:

1). The SMART GRID will *NOT* improve reliability.

2). THE SG will not provide more economical service (of course not – they are asking for a rate INCREASE to pay for it).

They were FOILED when a neighboring utility in massachusettes said implementation of a smart grid is dumb since they can provide all features that people want who have solar panels or windmills and want Net Metering, etc with traditional technology – and this Red-Faced NG into dropping their scheme.

I hope their bus making skills are much better than their photoshop skills.

Massachusetts has a grant pilot program that put four electric buses (plus charging stations) into four school districts for $1.4M ($350K per bus).

Don’t tell that to Bill because he read on Breitbart that everything the Gubmint does is a total rip-off of the long-suffering taxpayers, especially the billionaire class who need their taxes cut by Trump/Republicans!

You guys are all perfectly predictable: You only worry about tax cuts and never address the real problem: WAGE CUTS for the typical American Family.

Today Trump tweated about the 15% tax to be put on Chevy Cruze Hatchbacks made in Mexico, but the UAW said they weren’t concerned about it since its only 4500 cars/annum. Maybe the UAW should be concerned about the Silverado (no one anywhere ever buys/needs a pickup truck do they? We’re gonna get all our refrigerators and sofas dropped on our roofs by Amazon.Com QuadraCopters).

That takes the cake: Trump apparently is more concerned about keeping American people working than the Rank and File’s own Union President.

Wage cuts were done in Republican board rooms when they outsourced your jobs then wrote it off as an expense.

Yup, thanks to decades of Neo-cons from both parties, and Bill Clinton, and both Bushes.
Reagan was good until he was shot by Bushes friend Hincley, then his policies changed 180 degrees, but that’s beyond the scope of the discussion here.

How about raising the minimum wage to finally offset the last 30 years’ worth of inflation? Instead, the Republican legislature of Ohio is outlawing the right of its cities to raise the minimum wage or any other benefits on their own. Increasingly Republican states are establishing legislative dictatorships on Democratic cities as seen in North Carolina’s HB2 controversy.

Minimum wages work. The corporations lie about how much decent wages hurt their profits so as to shift the blame to foreigners. Giving tax giveaways to specific businesses to bribe them into keeping jobs in America fails because other nations just do the same – just as corporations play state subsidies off against each other in a race to the bottom. So the governments end up with no money, the corporations with all the money, and then who really rules us?

Republicans want to eliminate minimum wage, public schools, Medicare and SS. Less government, lower taxes, more tax breaks for the rich and a larger Pentagon budget.

This is a perfect application for an EV – many starts/stops and usually only needs to travel dozens of miles before it needs to be recharged for the evening shift. Likely would still need the gassers for the longer trips (i.e some athletic events, etc..)

Serious question, what is with the USA school bus? Why not use a regular bus and paint it yellow? Normally busses and public transport seem to work well for any other country. What is the background behind having a specific bus for schools and having it designed in a totally different fashion than regular busses?

Good question. After all, school buses are only used for 1-1.5 hours twice a day 6 days a week (only 5 for US buses).

Over here, the non-urban counties (inexact translation) have several buses that are used for multiple purposes: Ferrying kids to/from school, adults to/from events, weekend trip organized by the county etc. IIRC, they rent them out when not needed as well.

There are a surprising number of safety requirements on school buses. Everyone has seen the stop arms to prevent kids from getting run over, but there all kinds of other stuff such as making sure the driver checks that some kid is not sleeping in the back before the driver leaves for the day.

Seriously, please take those diesel buses out of the schools. They are dirty and polluting especially when idling in front of schools in picking up kids.

Switch them to CNG + PHEV or BEV so they would be clean in front of our kids.

It is our kids!

The US has approximately 4% of the world’s population and uses close to 21% of its oil. We still import about 19% of our oil. As a retired teacher anything that puts in front of our children a better way of doing things has value for their future. Maybe we cannot have it all now but tomorrow we might. That is why the government funds projects like these. I used to work at four different schools that had windmills to make their electricity. The schools were the only ones that had them. Drive down the road and I would only see one windmill at a company.

President Obama made most of this happen and he is about to leave government. We should thank him. Most people in this discussion are already complaining about Trump and he is not even president yet.