The 2018 national tour begins with its first stop at the California Association of School Transportation State Board of Directors 50th Annual Meeting in San Diego. On the first leg of the tour, chargE will visit more than 10 locations throughout the West Coast to provide an up-close opportunity for bus industry stakeholders to experience the electric IC Bus CE Series concept school bus developed with Navistar’s alliance partner, Volkswagen Truck & Bus.
“We’re excited to showcase our electric school bus with industry stakeholders on the West Coast and throughout the country,” says Trish Reed, vice president and general manager, IC Bus. “Our electric school bus is another example of how IC Bus is driving the future of school bus transportation. In addition to providing our customers with an electric school bus vehicle, we’re focused on giving them a total electric transportation solution.”
The national tour will include scheduled stops at trade shows, school and local government events throughout the country, including locations in and around Sacramento, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles, to provide customers with high-touch learning events with chargE.
“Taking chargE out on the road and visiting communities across America is at the heart of what we do here at IC Bus,” says Reed. “While we will showcase the latest technology and innovation that helps to make the job of a driver easier and more satisfying, we will listen to our customers and use their feedback to help us further inform and enhance our design and product. It’s part of a philosophy that we call DriverFirst.”
The chargE concept electric school bus incorporates a common group electric drivetrain from Volkswagen Truck & Bus that is quiet, does not produce any emissions and can be built to address any school bus customer’s specific requirements. The range of the chargE can exceed 120 miles, while the powertrain can deliver up to 260 kW (about 349 peak horsepower.
As an early example of Navistar’s alliance with Volkswagen Truck and Bus, which will also include a previously announced electric medium-duty truck for the North American market, the chargE brings together multiple concepts and technologies that will shape the school bus of the future, according to an announcement. It also includes camera technology, connected systems and remote diagnostics that support vehicle safety, uptime and more efficient vehicle inspections.
“As the only OEM that offers a fully integrated electric school bus, we’re excited to introduce this vehicle to our customers,” says Reed. “Customers can rest assured that their long-term investment in our electric school bus will be backed by two global Original Equipment Manufacturers and the industry’s strongest North American dealer network.”
The company originally unveiled the chargE at the 2017 National Association for Pupil Transportation Annual Conference and Trade Show, and will be launched as early as late 2019. The chargE was designed to give customers a zero-emissions school bus option while lowering the total cost of ownership and offering user-friendly options.