IC Bus, the leading school bus manufacturer and brand of Navistar, announced that they have been awarded an order for 18 type C electric school buses funded through the annual British Columbia Provincial School Bus Standing Offer. IC Bus electric buses have the option for the largest capacity battery available in the school bus industry today, which could result in the best-in-class mileage range.
The 18 buses represent the entirety of the order, which is one of the most significant single electric school bus orders to date placed from a sole province in Canada. The electric school buses will be the first in British Columbia and will be operated by 14 school districts. British Columbia has mandated a 40 percent greenhouse gas reduction for public fleets by 2030.
“We are very happy to announce the first order of our electric CE school bus,” said Trish Reed, vice president and general manager, IC Bus. “Electric is an exciting opportunity for IC Bus and we look forward to expanding our presence following this initial purchase.”
Robyn Stephenson, manager of Transportation Services at School District No. 22 in Vernon, British Columbia, is looking forward to putting two of the electric buses into service next year. This acquisition builds upon past sustainability actions such as fuel efficient driving techniques and bus route design, which has already contributed to a 30 percent drop in fuel consumption.
“Electric school buses are the natural next step to continue on the path towards zero greenhouse gasses for the future of the children we serve,” said Stephenson. “IC Bus was able to provide a terrific product and the support necessary to help us truly achieve our sustainability goals.”
Over the past 18 months, IC Bus and NEXT – Navistar’s eMobility business unit – have been consulting with a group of transportation supervisors in British Columbia to obtain critical real-world operational data, route-profiles and climate data. British Columbia proved to be an ideal first partner, as it serves as a great foundation for expansion moving forward.
“The group of transportation supervisors offered us unique insight by sharing their operational wants and needs while keeping in perspective the very diverse climate they work in, which will serve as a model for most of North America,” said Joel Landry, account manager, Western Canada Bus, the IC Bus dealer working with British Columbia School Districts. “From mountain ranges to the coastal rainforest and the Okanagan desert, British Columbia presented a perfect challenge for the engineers, which will benefit us moving forward.”
“The engineering parameters gained in the 18 months with this focus group ensures the success of these initial 18 school buses, as well as our broader launch across North America in 2021,” said Gary Horvat, vice president, eMobility, Navistar.
NEXT’s consultative 4C’s process, touching many areas outside of the vehicle, was key to the order. Throughout the meetings in British Columbia, it became clear the school districts would require charging infrastructure guidance as a component to success. As such, each of the school districts are being provided with complimentary site planning services by NEXT’s charging solutions team. Collectively, the team is thoroughly covering Consulting, Constructing, Charging and Connecting – each of the 4Cs.
“Western Canada Bus is proud to partner with IC Bus in this exciting new chapter of school transportation in British Columbia,” said Doug De Hoop, vice president and general manager, Western Canada Bus. “We look forward to continuing to support our many clients through our extensive service network.”
IC Bus will begin delivery of the electric buses in 2021.