Joint Venture Works to Meet Demand for Electric School Buses

Blue Bird's electric school bus model

(Credit: Blue Bird)

by | Dec 11, 2023

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Blue Bird and Generate Capital have announced a joint venture to help school districts upgrade to electric school bus fleets amidst rising demand for clean school transportation.

The joint venture, Clean Bus Solutions, will provide electrification-as-a-service offerings, allowing school districts to pay an affordable monthly fee to use Blue Bird school buses and chargers. This system should help schools avoid major upfront costs often associated with switching to an electric bus fleet. The service also includes project planning and management as well as fleet and charging optimization, helping districts smoothly transition away from mostly diesel-powered fleets.

Generate Capital said it plans to complement its existing decarbonization contracts with school districts through the new connection with Blue Bird’s mobility services.

“Parents are rightly pressuring their community leaders to clean up the air their children are forced to breathe, and there’s no more obvious imperative than the school bus fleet,” said Scott Jacobs, CEO and co-founder of Generate Capital. “Electric, pollution-free transportation is here, and it’s the most compelling economic and environmental choice – so it’s time we take care of our most precious community members. Combining our decade of expertise and experience in these communities with Blue Bird and its market-leading electric school buses is a perfect way to accelerate the transition to clean air and transportation that all of our families, communities, and school districts are demanding.”

Demand for Electric Buses on the Rise Following EPA Bus Rebate Program

According to Generate Capital, 8 million metric tons of emissions are generated by diesel-powered school buses in the United States. Diesel exhaust is a known carcinogen and is linked with other negative health implications, so efforts are being made to ensure that the estimated 20 million children riding school buses each day are not exposed to this risk.

The adoption of electric buses has greatly increased in recent years, especially due to the introduction of the EPA’s Clean School Bus Rebate Program in 2022.  According to a report from the World Resources Institute, the U.S. has nearly 6,000 committed electric school buses operating across 914 school districts.

Along with benefitting school districts, the joint venture will reportedly generate additional revenue and profit streams for Blue Bird with financing throughout vehicles’ lifetimes and from necessary repair and maintenance services. Blue Bird plans further expansion of its production capacity as an increasing number of school districts look to go electric.

The company recently opened a new facility that will allow for up to 5,000 electric vehicles to be produced annually in the coming years.

 

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