Blue Bird Corporation (Nasdaq: BLBD) has clinched a milestone order for electric school buses from the Los Angeles Unified School District, marking the largest single order of its kind from the second-largest public school system in the United States. The order, totaling 180 electric school buses, supplements the 26 Blue Bird electric school buses already part of the school district's fleet. This substantial acquisition is a pivotal step for the school district's initiative to transition its Sun Valley Bus Yard to 100% electric by 2026.
The Los Angeles Unified School District anticipates significant annual savings with this electric school bus purchase, estimating an average of $10,000 per bus in maintenance and fuel costs compared to diesel counterparts. This results in a total annual savings of $2 million.
Blue Bird will contribute to Los Angeles' school bus fleet with 30 Vision and 150 All American electric buses. Both models utilize the Cummins PowerDrive 7000 powertrain system, featuring a battery capacity of 196 kW and a range of up to 130 miles on a single charge. Charging times are expected to range from three hours at Level 3 to eight hours at Level 2, utilizing Sun Valley's upcoming charging infrastructure.
The electric buses from Blue Bird include standard vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capability, enabling the school district to potentially sell excess energy stored in the buses' batteries back to electric utilities, creating an additional revenue stream. The V2G capability also aids in balancing the grid.
Delivery of the first buses is scheduled for October 2024, with the entire order expected to be fulfilled by early 2025.