Next Generation PowerDrive 7000 is now in production
Accelera™ by Cummins, the zero-emissions business segment of Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI), and Blue Bird Corporation (Nasdaq: BLBD), the leader in electric and low-emission school buses, recently premiered the next-generation Vision electric school bus at STN Expo West in Reno, Nevada, a leading student transportation industry and technology event in North America.
The next-generation electric school bus features the Accelera™ PowerDrive 7000, the newest version of its electric powertrain system. The upgraded system provides superior performance and is equipped with a next-gen battery that has a capacity of 196kWh – a 25 percent increase from the previous model. With this updated battery technology, these electric school buses can now travel up to 130 miles on a single charge.
"Accelera's partnership with Blue Bird is in its fifth year, and together we are defining a new era of excellence in technology innovation and service support,” said Brian Wilson, General Manager of Electrified Components at Accelera. "Continuous improvement is in our DNA and we are driven to provide safe, efficient and sustainable electric school buses across North America by offering tailored solutions that meet the unique needs of our customers while raising the bar on expectations for BEVs."
Accelera and Blue Bird have enhanced their assembly process for this new generation of electric school buses, resulting in better build quality and quicker lead times. Their goal of deploying a fleet of 1,000 electric school buses in North America within 12 to 18 months remains on track. The partnership between Accelera and Blue Bird has already resulted in successful school bus adoption in snowy Colorado and sunny California, where school districts have taken advantage of funding opportunities to electrify their fleets for quieter, cleaner and more comfortable rides.
“Over the past century, Blue Bird has emerged as an iconic company at the forefront of technology advancement and innovation in the school bus industry,” said Britton Smith, president of Blue Bird Corporation, which operates nearly 1,000 electric school buses in North America today. “With our next-generation Vision electric school bus, we continue to take clean student transportation to the next performance level and provide superior, zero-emission buses to school districts across North America. Blue Bird is ever evolving.”
Accelera’s next-generation PowerDrive 7000 system features several significant enhancements, including more compact and lighter batteries, which improve efficiency and allow Blue Bird to increase the seating capacity of the Vision electric bus from 72 to 77 passengers. The batteries are equipped with internal insulation, which helps minimize heat loss within the energy storage system. Additionally, the new PowerDrive 7000 has simplified architecture with fewer system components and optimized software, improving the vehicle’s energy distribution and reliability while reducing maintenance.
About Accelera™ by Cummins
Accelera by Cummins provides a diverse portfolio of zero-emission solutions for the world’s most economically vital industries, empowering them to accelerate the transition to a sustainable future. Accelera, a business segment of Cummins Inc., is both a components supplier and integrator, focused on batteries, hydrogen fuel cells, e-axles, traction drive and electrolyzers. Accelera currently has operations in North America, across Europe and in China, with an additional joint venture that also operates in China. To learn more about Accelera, visit accelerazero.com.
About Cummins Inc.
Cummins Inc., a global power technology leader, is a corporation of complementary business segments that design, manufacture, distribute and service a broad portfolio of power solutions. The company’s products range from internal combustion, electric and hybrid integrated power solutions to components including filtration, aftertreatment, turbochargers, fuel systems, controls systems, air handling systems, automated transmissions, electric power generation systems, microgrid controls, batteries, electrolyzers and fuel cell products. Headquartered in Columbus, Indiana (U.S.), since its founding in 1919, Cummins employs approximately 73,600 people committed to powering a more prosperous world through three global corporate responsibility priorities critical to healthy communities: education, environment and equality of opportunity. Cummins serves its customers online, through a network of company-owned and independent distributor locations, and through thousands of dealer locations worldwide and earned about $2.2 billion on sales of $28.1 billion in 2022. Learn more at cummins.com.
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