The Electric School Bus Revolution for Long-Haul Routes

GreenPower Motor Company, based in West Virginia, has unveiled the Mega BEAST, an electric school bus with a large battery to accommodate longer routes. The regular BEAST, designed for most school routes, can travel 140-150 miles on its 194-kWh battery pack. However, the Mega BEAST features a massive 387 kWh battery, providing a range of 300 miles on a single charge. This extended range is ideal for school districts with longer routes and eliminates the need for fast-charging during lunch breaks.

Additionally, the larger battery could support vehicle-to-grid installations in partnership with power companies. This development aligns with a $5 billion fund from the Environmental Protection Agency to electrify school bus fleets, with the West Virginian pilot program providing valuable data for district decision-making. The study highlights factors affecting range, such as cold weather and heater usage, which must be considered when setting up charging infrastructure.