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Indiana School District Deploys Blue Bird Electric School Bus to Increase Sustainability

Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation (BCSC) has received a Blue Bird electric-powered school bus as part of a sustainability movement. BCSC was awarded funding from the Indiana Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund that provided significant subsidies for the school bus along with the necessary charging infrastructure. The leader in electric powered school buses, Blue Bird has continued expanding deployment of these clean vehicles in increasing numbers of states throughout the US.

“BCSC is committed to being an environmentally responsible member of the community. Reduced emissions from transportation operations is aligned with the environmental sustainability goals of the corporation,” said Dr. Brett Boezeman, director of operations at BCSC. “The addition of electric buses to the BCSC fleet will further support other alternative energy exploration and carbon footprint reduction efforts. BCSC is fortunate to have community support on such projects.” The electrification project also includes the addition of updating lighting fixtures across 21 of its buildings with high-efficiency LED bulbs and solar energy panels on the rooftops of two buildings, intending to reduce energy consumption by 40%. 

To further optimize the electric bus implementation, Cummins and Duke Energy have partnered with BCSC to study vehicle energy consumption and charging requirements. The electric bus will also demonstrate vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capability and is the first V2G capable bus in Indiana. The study will aid in selecting routes the bus is used on, the charging schedule and the effects on battery life, electricity consumption compared to peak rate/times, and total cost of ownership. The energy consumption study will also provide a blueprint of the impact of a broader fleet adoption and what investments and total cost of ownership will look like for future fleet purchases. 

Blue Bird’s electric school buses are powered by Cummins PowerDrive 7000EV battery electric powertrain and produce zero emissions. The electric motor is maintenance free, providing significant savings on service, fuel and emissions costs. Their quiet, yet powerful operation makes them a valuable asset within a school bus fleet.

“Cummins is excited to have BCSC and our community benefit from adding this electric bus into their fleet,” said Jeff Seger, general manager for powertrain at Cummins. “With Cummins headquartered in Columbus, we’re proud to see the role our innovation plays in helping push our community forward.”

“The data gathered from the Bartholomew project will be valuable to continuing to improve electric bus products as we continue to innovate and improve this rapidly evolving market,” said Trevor Rudderham, SVP of Electrification at Blue Bird Corporation. “With hundreds of our electric buses currently on the road, we have already seen great strides in technology advancements for electric within the past year, and hope to see more of these buses operating in Columbus in the near future.”

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