It seems that even school buses are getting the electric vehicle treatment. School buses run daily and are big enough to affect the carbon footprint of a country by a reasonable amount. Electrifying them can reduce the carbon footprint of the schools that adopt them. Chinese automotive giant BYD is launching a battery-electric bus with bi-directional charging technology.
China has been voicing its intentions of going carbon-free in the future, reducing its carbon emissions until their carbon neutral by 2060. The bitcoin miners aren’t helping them but at least this is a step in the right direction. The new Type-D bus is available in three different lengths of 35, 38, and 40 ft. The bus can hold up to 84 students.
The bus is powered by a lithium-iron-phosphate battery that can do 155 miles or 250 km of travel on every charge. The bus comes with a Predictive Stop Arm that monitors surrounding traffic and alerts students of potential dangers before they hop off the bus. Other features include collision avoidance and a 360 monitoring system that detects nearby pedestrians and cyclists when the bus is moving at low speeds.
The main feature, however, is the bi-directional charging. The goal behind the feature is that the bus can be charged up overnight when they are seldom being used, and then when it is parked near the school during the day, the bi-directional charging will shift the excess energy into the school’s electric supply.
According to Samuel Kang, BYD’s Head of Total Technology Solutions, “From the beginning, our team has always been focused on many key features. We believed the Type D electric bus needed to be appealing to kids while at the same time offer the utmost safety features and driver ergonomics, be equipped with a safe, high-performance battery, and have plenty of storage capacity for road trips. The BYD Type D school bus achieves all those goals”.
There are no clear release dates yet and all we’ve gotten are renders rather than actual photographs of the bus but we’re sure that the bus is happening with BYD being a major electric vehicle manufacturer in China.