Blue Bird Electric Step Van unveiled at ACT Expo
Photo Credit To Blue Bird Corporation

Blue Bird Electric Step Van unveiled at ACT Expo

Blue Bird Electric Step Van unveiled at ACT Expo

Blue Bird Corporation, the leader in electric and low-emission school buses, will debut its electric-powered step van at the upcoming 2024 Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT Expo), North America’s largest advanced transportation technology and clean fleet event. The company teamed up with Xos and Morgan Olson to manufacture the prototype.

Blue Bird will showcase its groundbreaking zero-emission vehicle and underlying stripped chassis at the trade event from May 20-23, 2024, at the Las Vegas Convention Center, booth 2470, in Las Vegas, Nev.

Blue Bird builds on its nearly century-long expertise in school bus manufacturing to expand its zero-emission transportation solutions to the commercial vehicle market. The last-mile delivery step van and stripped chassis on display feature a 140kWh Lithium-ion battery. The batteries are mounted inside the frame rails for superior battery protection. The battery pack supports a vehicle range of up to 130 miles on a single charge. It takes between one and twelve hours to fully recharge depending on the charging infrastructure.

Blue Bird’s prototype is based on a 178” wheelbase for last-mile-delivery vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of up to 23,000 pounds. The company utilizes lightweight materials and components for its innovative vehicle platform maximizing vehicle payload while continuing to prioritize vehicle safety.

Blue Bird offers several safety features on its EV prototype not standard on comparable electric vehicles to enhance driver protection and familiarity. This includes “hill hold,” which prevents the vehicle from rolling backward or forward when sitting stationary on a hill, and “electric creep,” which allows the vehicle to slowly start moving from a stop when the driver’s foot is removed from the brake pedal to simulate a gasoline engine in gear. In addition, the Blue Bird stripped chassis provides 55-degree, best-in-class wheel cut to improve manoeuvrability in tight urban settings.

“In 2022, Blue Bird introduced its EV commercial chassis concept vehicle at ACT Expo,” said Britton Smith, president of Blue Bird Corporation. “This week, we will debut the operating prototype of our electric-powered step van at the 2024 ACT Expo that’s based on industry-leading EV technology. For nearly a century, Blue Bird has perfected its core capabilities of designing, engineering and manufacturing school buses from the ground up. Now we are one step closer to applying our world-class vehicle manufacturing expertise and expanding our electric-powered product range to the commercial vehicle market.”

Blue Bird has partnered with Xos, a leading electric truck manufacturer and fleet electrification services provider from California, offering their expertise gained from deploying hundreds of zero-emissions commercial electric vehicles since 2018. The powertrain technology from Xos is a key feature in Blue Bird’s step van. Additionally, this collaboration includes Morgan Olson, a Michigan-based builder of work truck bodies, which is responsible for providing the body for the prototype. Morgan Olson’s work truck bodies deliver millions of parcels to businesses and homes in North America every day.

“We are honored that Blue Bird has chosen to entrust Xos with the technology to power its electric step van prototype,” said Dakota Semler, CEO of Xos. “This collaboration is a testament to the reliability, efficiency, and innovation that Xos brings to the forefront of the commercial electric vehicle market.”

“We at Morgan Olson are looking forward to a productive collaboration with Blue Bird and Xos on the development of this step van prototype,” said Mike Ownbey, president and CEO of Morgan Olson. “By combining the expertise of our industry-leading companies, we are confident that we can offer our existing and new step van customers a new chassis option that provides great value in the commercial vehicle market.”

Blue Bird anticipates for its electric-powered stripped chassis to be commercially available in late 2024. The company is the only U.S.-owned and operated school bus manufacturer in the United States. In addition, Blue Bird is the number one builder of electric school buses in North America with more than 1,500 zero-emission school buses in operation today.

Blue Bird will also feature its latest low- and zero-emission vehicle technologies at ACT Expo. The company remains the proven clean transportation leader with more than 20,000 propane, natural gas, and electric-powered buses in operation today.

Blue Bird Electric Step Van unveiled at ACT Expo

Post source : Blue Bird Corporation

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Anthony has worked in the construction industry for many years and looks forward to bringing you news and stories on the highways industry from all over the world.

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