Technology: Inside a self-driving truck with Torc Robotics
Blue Bird Corporation unveiled a Class 5-6 electric vehicle platform at ACT Expo in Long Beach, California. The company is expanding its zero-emission transportation solutions to the commercial vehicle market. Blue Bird’s Class 5-6 chassis will enable a broad range of fully-electric vehicles, including last-mile delivery step vans, motorhomes, and other specialty vehicles.
Due to its modular design, the Blue Bird electric vehicle (EV) chassis allows for several battery configurations from 70kWh to 225kWh supporting a vehicle range of up to 175 miles on a single charge, the company noted. The battery packs take between one and twelve hours to fully recharge depending on the charging infrastructure.
In addition, Blue Bird offers its Class 5-6 chassis with three wheelbase options of 178 in., 190 in., and 208 in. for vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of up to 26,000 pounds. The company utilizes lightweight materials and components to maximize vehicle payload without compromising on vehicle safety.
Blue Bird offers several safety features on its EV chassis. This includes “hill hold,” which prevents the vehicle from rolling backward 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.
Blue Bird teamed up with Lightning eMotors, a Colorado-based manufacturer of electric powertrains and complete zero-emission vehicle solutions, to build the prototype of the Class 5-6 custom chassis. Lightning eMotors drew from its EV experience based on nearly 250 zero-emission electric commercial vehicles in operation and over 1.5 million miles driven to-date.