IC Bus, which produces the iconic yellow American school buses, has unveiled its electric bus – chargE – its CE Series concept vehicle developed with Volkswagen Truck & Bus.
The chargE was designed to give customers a zero-emissions option while lowering the total cost of ownership and offering user-friendly features. It was unveiled yesterday at the 2017 National Association for Pupil Transportation Annual Conference and Trade Show. The first unit is expected to be launched in 2019.
Bill Kozek, Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, Navistar, said: "The chargE demonstrates how our alliance with Volkswagen Truck & Bus is allowing us to move even faster into electric powertrains and other advanced technologies, thanks to our ability to leverage both companies' technology investments and components.”
"Additionally, our electric school bus is another example of how IC Bus is driving the future of school bus transportation by providing a wide range of powertrain solutions, including electric propulsion, propane, gasoline and diesel," said Trish Reed, Vice President and General Manager, IC Bus.
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The chargE incorporates a common group electric drivetrain from Volkswagen Truck & Bus that is quiet and emission-free. It can be built to address any customer’s specific requirements; the range can exceed 120 miles while the powertrain is capable of delivering up to 260kW of power.
"We're proud to introduce our electric powertrain concept vehicle engineered to meet the demands of the 21st century school bus industry," noted Reed. "As battery technology evolves, we continue to explore a variety of electric technologies to meet our customers' needs in the final design of the CE Series electric-powered school bus."
The chargE is the second electric powertrain vehicle to come out of an alliance with a common group electric drivetrain from Volkswagen Truck & Bus. Earlier this year, Navistar and Volkswagen Truck & Bus Group announced the intention to develop an electric medium-duty vehicle for Navistar’s core market, which it also expects to launch in 2019.
"We are embracing technology and innovation that make drivers safer and more satisfied, while providing the school bus industry with vehicles that are safe, reliable and efficient," said Reed. "IC Bus leads the school bus industry in uptime through a powerful combination of manufacturing excellent products and having the industry's strongest dealer network that keeps our customers' buses on the road."