New All-Electric School Bus Boasts Impressive Range, It’s Called “The Beast”

Despite its name, the Beast is a safe and reliable all-electric school bus. 7 photos
Photo: Greenpower Motor Company
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There’s a new Beast in town, but it’s not what you think – actually, nothing could be friendlier than this electric school bus that keeps the kids safe and the environment free of CO2 emissions.
While Tesla and other EV brands are the centers of attention, lesser-known companies, such as Greenpower, are quietly transforming the cargo and public transportation sectors by developing less flashy but just as important purpose-built electric vehicles. The Canada-based car maker’s newest addition, a zero-emissions type D school bus, promises to become an efficient, affordable and safe alternative to aging, fuel-based school bus fleets.

It was in 2014 when Greenpower launched its first battery-electric bus, the EV350, which would later operate in Porterville, California, the first U.S. city with a transit system to deploy electric buses on a large scale. Almost ten years later, the company’s extensive range of shuttles and delivery vehicles is now completed by a new electric school bus.

Beast stands for Battery Electric Automotive School Transportation. Like all Greenpower vehicles, Beast was designed from the ground up to be electric, based on the company’s monocoque chassis. The 40-foot (12 meters) long and 11.5-foot (3.5 meters) tall school bus can seat up to 90 passengers.

Equipped with a 194 kWh battery pack, it promises an impressive range of up to 150 miles (241 km) on a single charge. Standard features include air-ride suspension, ABS disk brakes, and pass-through storage. According to the manufacturer, the purpose-built design is what makes this electric school bus “structurally superior” compared to alternatives, with an improved battery weight distribution and increased durability. Another advantage of the e-bus, besides protecting the environment, is cutting fuel costs for school districts.

Greenpower considers Beast “a milestone for the industry” and expects to ramp up its bus production from five to ten units per month, as U.S. President Joe Biden’s Federal Infrastructure Plan is implemented. Perhaps not too far ahead in the future, all-electric school buses will become standard across the U.S.

The new Beast school bus is being showcased at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Long Beach, with deliveries for the existing orders set to begin in the next weeks.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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