Determining if Blue Bird Electric School Buses are the Best Fit for Your School District
Are you in the market for electric buses for sale? Thinking of upgrading your school district’s fleet, and wanting to save money and assist the environment at the same time? Blue Bird, the first name in electric school buses, is here to help you in making the important decisions that come along with upgrading your fleet.
There are a multitude of options to choose from when you’re in the market for electric buses for sale. For that reason, there are also specific details you should keep in mind to make sure you’re getting the best possible bus for your needs.
In this blog post, we’ll go over what to look for when shopping for an electric school bus, and we’ll also discuss the many benefits of alternative fuels like electricity.
If you’re considering making the switch to an electric bus, read on and go into your electric bus shopping confidently!
Electric School Buses – The way Forward for School Transportation
School districts across the country are harnessing the potential of electric buses by adding these environmentally friendly vehicles to their fleets.
Not only do electric school buses save on fuel costs, but they produce fewer emissions than their diesel-driven predecessors and can end up being much more cost-effective in the long run.
The electric buses for sale are revolutionizing the way we think about public transportation. The benefits of electric school buses extend far beyond that of cost savings too- electric buses help reduce noise pollution, create safer roads, and encourage sustainability and energy independence, which we will discuss in further detail in this article.
It’s for these reasons that electric school buses have become an increasingly popular choice for district transportation needs. Electric school buses could be just what your district needs for a better future!
Take the Needs of Your School District into Consideration
When shopping for an electric school bus, it’s important to take into consideration your school district’s transportation needs, and what would benefit you the most. While it’s true that electric school buses benefit students, communities, and the environment, it’s important to remember that it’s a more complicated decision than just plugging the bus in and being on your way.
Any school district that’s considering purchasing electric buses for sale to add to their fleet should understand the total cost of ownership. Your location will play an important role in these calculations, as some cost variables will change drastically from one location to another depending on climate, terrain, and geography.
The most important things to consider when looking at electric buses for sale are:
- Cost of Bus/Fuel/Electricity
- Managed vs. Unmanaged charging.
- Infrastructure Design and Installation
- Operational Layout
- Maintenance and Safety
Let’s take each one of these considerations and break it down a bit further.
Electric Buses For Sale– Cost of Bus Fuel vs. Bus Electricity
While it is true that electric school buses for sale are more expensive than diesel buses initially, some of the cost can be offset by grants and funding offered at the federal, state, and local level, however, the cost is really offset by the future cost savings you will receive by no longer requiring diesel fuel.
Blue Bird electric school buses will help you to assess your district’s unique circumstances help you to find the best option for your situation, saving you the most money in the long run.
Electric School Buses – Battery Considerations
On average, the battery makes up around 30%-50% of the cost of your electric school bus. Having an appropriate battery strategy in place is imperative to the cost, operations, and revenue.
You should give special consideration to battery size and chemistry, as well as all the other options that go along with it such as:
- Capacity and Range (size in kWh)
- Degradation and Replacement Timings
- Leasing Options
Some things to take into consideration are how long will your electric school bus need to run, how many miles does it need to travel, and how much downtime does the electric school bus have to charge in between trips?
For degradation and replacement, the average estimated battery life is 6-10 years, with climate, charger type, charger speed and more accounting for this wide range of estimation.
Lastly, it’s critical that you keep the battery warranties at the forefront of your mind. Ensure that key performance indicators, such as Energy Used, Charge Cycles, Average State of Charge (SOC), Depth of Discharge (DOD), Cell Temperatures, and Current rate are all being tracked appropriately to ensure that you do not void your warranty.
Electric School Buses – Charging Considerations
Electric school buses are charged by electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE), using either alternate current level 2(AC) or direct current fast charge (DCFC) systems. While AC systems are less expensive, they charge more slowly. Our team will be able to assist you in weighing the benefits vs the costs, since it’s critical that your charger meets the bus’ route requirements.
Managed charging means that the school district can plug the bus in and have it only charge when and if needed. It also allows you to program the electric school bus to charge during the least expensive times of day, saving the school district more. Unmanaged simply means that there is no option to schedule the charge during off-peak hours, resulting in a higher long-term cost versus the initial one-time, up-front fee for the appropriate infrastructure.
While on the topic of infrastructure, this will vary from school district to school district. When looking to buy electric buses for your school district, you should be aware of your site’s electrical capacity, and where you are in relation to the electric supply you need to power your operation.
Depending on your electrical capacity, it could take many months to install the required electrical system upgrades, which will also have an impact on your bottom line and operational layout.
Considering Your Operation Layout when Looking at Electric Buses for Sale
When you are looking for electric buses for sale, you will need to look at your operational layout since you will need to be strategic about where you install a charging station.
Most charging infrastructure will benefit from being placed closer to a building, where more access to 3-phase power (steady, efficient, constant rate energy) available. This is because while many parking lots may be able to fit the buses, they would not be a suitable charging area without significant utility upgrades.
Exploring charging options upfront can help you to decide on the best type of electric school bus, the number of electric school buses and which types of chargers will work best for your school district.
While all these considerations may sound like quite the undertaking, Blue Bird makes the process simple, and easy for you to understand. We also work with industry leaders to help offset some of the costs that you may incur elsewhere since we work tirelessly to ensure every school district is equipped with the best system set up for them. In turn, this means you will get the best possible deal on all Blue Bird electric buses for sale.
Maintenance and Safety Considerations When Purchasing an Electric School Bus
Electric school buses have fewer moving parts then traditional diesel school buses, which ultimately means they will require less regular maintenance due to breaking parts, damage, and normal wear and tear.
With that said, it’s important that everyone who will be working with the electric school buses be properly trained on how to maintain them, as well as ensuring you have a solid staff of maintenance technicians who are familiar with safely servicing electric buses.
Additionally, site-wide safety training for electricity and vehicle charging, how to respond in even of an electrical fire, maintaining your electric parts inventory as well as making sure you acquire all the necessary tools to perform work, when needed, on your fleet.
Why Electric Buses for Sale are a Great Alternative to Traditional, Diesel Buses
Not only do electric buses reduce the number of emissions put into the environment, but they also require less than half the amount of maintenance time while in operation.
As electric buses require no fuel, they save a sizable chunk of operation costs as well; this cost savings can be moved over to other areas that can benefit the district’s students and faculty more directly.
Blue Bird offers electric buses for sale that can be customized to suit any school’s needs – from an impressive electric range to additional features such as Heat Pump HVAC, LED lighting, modern dash design and so much more.
Blue Bird, as a trusted transportation leader since 1927, also has strict standard safety features, electronic stability control (ESC) and backup cameras standard on all our electric school buses.
We have met or exceeded US Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. We are also Colorado Rack Test Certified, Kentucky Pole Test Certified, and all our buses are equipped with a Hill-Hold Feature for added safety.
Blue Bird Offers a Variety of Electric School Buses That Are Sure to Meet the Needs of Any School District.
Blue Bird has an electric school bus lineup that is sure to offer something that meets the needs of any school district.
Whether you are just entering the electric bus market or expanding your electric fleet, Blue Bird electric school buses can provide unique benefits and cost savings.
With a range of models available, they have an electric bus option that will suit the needs of any organization or school district.
Electric buses have revolutionized the transportation industry, offering school districts more sustainable and cost-effective options compared to traditional fuel-powered buses.
Additionally, Blue Bird energy services provide electric school bus charging solutions through InCharge Energy. InCharge is the industry-leading developer of commercial electric vehicle (EV) charging systems, providing solutions tailored to electric school bus fleets.
Not only are electric school buses for sale a greener option – significantly lowering emissions output compared to traditional diesel buses – but electric buses also have much lower operating costs and generate minimal noise when in use, making them ideal for safely transporting students.
While there may seem to be a lot of upfront costs associated with purchasing an electric school bus fleet, your new energy-efficient fleet will pay off for you big time in the long run.
Central States will walk you through every step of the process to ensure you get the best price on a Blue Bird bus, and the best return on investment possible with your new fleet of electric school buses. We have been making electric school buses since 1993, and we aim to deliver top-tier satisfaction to all our customers!
With electric buses quickly becoming the new norm, it’s easy to see why many school districts are making electric bus acquisition a priority as they look to modernize their fleet. Contact Central States Bus Sales today to get more information on Blue Bird buses, how to start saving your school district money, keeping your school zone green, and ensuring the safety and comfort of your students!