Blue Bird unveils Class 5-6 electric vehicle chassis
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Blue Bird unveils Class 5-6 electric vehicle chassis

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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.

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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.

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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.

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