Lightning eMotors, a provider of medium-duty and specialty commercial electric vehicles for fleets, and Collins Bus Corp., a manufacturer of Type A School Buses and a subsidiary of REV Group recently announced the expansion of their zero-emission Type A school bus offering to include both GM and Ford chassis platforms.
Expansion of the Lightning eMotors-Collins Bus strategic partnership, first announced last year, comes just two months after the Biden-Harris Administration, through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), announced $5 billion in guaranteed funding for school districts and eligible school bus operators and contractors to begin replacing the nation’s fleet of school buses with clean, American-made, zero-emission buses. The funding is expected to play a critical role in accelerating the adoption of all-electric school buses across the country.
In addition to EPA funding and state-level initiatives, the environmental and health benefits of reduced tailpipe emissions and current economic realities make electric school buses an even more appealing option. At a time when interest rates, fuel prices and the costs of parts and labor for repairs are at all-time highs, electric buses use no fuel and require less maintenance, thereby reducing total cost of ownership when replacing aging diesel buses or adding to school bus fleets.
Both chassis versions of the Type A school bus come with 125 kWh of batteries, approximately 130 miles of range, and both AC level 2 at up to 13.2 kW and DC fast charge at up to 80 kW. Hundreds of Lightning vehicles are on the road today and have accumulated over 2 million realworld, zero-emission miles and growing fast.
Between government funding, low operating costs, and the potential revenue generation from Low Carbon Fuel Standard credits (in certain states) and bidirectional grid charging during nonuse times, moving to electric school buses is no longer a financial burden for school districts but rather an investment that pays off in the near- and long-term.