Nuvve Holding Corp. and Blue Bird Corporation announced their plan to deploy the financing capabilities from Levo Mobility LLC, Nuvve’s recently formed joint venture with Stonepeak Partners LP, across Blue Bird’s distribution network, allowing customers to lease V2G electric school buses, related charging infrastructure and energy management for a flat monthly fee with no upfront costs.
The Nuvve and Blue Bird partnership expansion also makes V2G ubiquitous in the electric school bus market by integrating Nuvve V2G charging infrastructure within the Blue Bird manufacturing and distribution network, according to an announcement.
Nuvve and Blue Bird previously announced their collaboration to introduce V2G-compatible electric buses to the U.S. market and more intelligently integrate electric vehicles (EVs) into the grid using Nuvve’s V2G platform.
All Blue Bird Type C and D electric buses are manufactured with Nuvve’s V2G integration which, when combined with a Nuvve V2G charging station, can store and discharge energy. The excess stored energy across multiple buses can be combined to form virtual power plants (VPPs) offering valuable grid services that earn revenue. Blue Bird’s V2G capability provides a significant advantage over other electric buses to school districts, by providing a way to leverage the buses when parked and connected to help stabilize the grid and prevent blackouts.
Levo will offer its Fleet-as-a-Service (FaaS) model through Blue Bird’s nationwide distribution network, providing fully financed electric school buses along with associated charging infrastructure, service and energy management to qualified Blue Bird customers and dealers. Levo has a capital commitment of up to $750 million with the potential to electrify up to 3,500 school buses. By providing multiple paths to acquire electric school bus fleets, Nuvve, Levo and Blue Bird are delivering flexibility to school districts and bus operators and accelerating their path towards electrification and sustainability.
“We are always looking at innovative ways to reduce our customers’ cost of ownership for their school buses,” says Phil Horlock, CEO of Blue Bird Corporation. “By incorporating the cost of charging infrastructure and the benefits from lower operating costs and V2G revenue into the lease price, the total value of zero-emission Blue Bird school buses becomes very attractive. We are excited to collaborate with Nuvve and look forward to continuing to advance our positions as market leaders in the V2G-enabled electric school bus segment.”
Nuvve’s V2G platform and charging infrastructure will also be installed at Blue Bird’s manufacturing facility to allow all new electric buses to quickly charge before delivery, taking advantage of the V2G capability by providing revenue-generating energy back to the power grid.
“Blue Bird has championed electric school buses that come standard with V2G capability, and its customers trust its ability to help maximize their investment,” says Gregory Poilasne, Nuvve chairman and CEO. “Integrating V2G infrastructure upstream in the supply chain is a natural next step, and we’re proud that our partnership has produced a new level of accessibility for schools transitioning away from dirty diesel engines. We look forward to our continued collaboration to help intelligently electrify transportation in this key market.”
By using Nuvve’s V2G platform, schools can realize cost benefits by intelligently charging electric buses when rates are low and allowing Nuvve to sell the excess energy in their electric buses back to the grid when needed; these proceeds can be shared with customers or help offset upfront costs of charging infrastructure. Additionally, the technology enables electric vehicles to act as “storage on wheels” for renewable energy, including solar and wind that is intermittent by nature, and helps integrate these resources into the grid in a more predictable and reliable way, the companies say.
The two companies also plan to deploy Nuvve V2G charging stations along with electric buses at select Blue Bird dealers in multiple states across the U.S. With V2G buses and charging infrastructure on site, Blue Bird dealerships will be able to demonstrate the asset optimization, revenue generating capabilities and showcase the lower total cost of ownership of V2G for school transportation leaders interested in converting their fleets from diesel to electric buses.