Manufacturer Trans Tech Bus will soon offer its customers a "green" solution for transporting students to and from school with its eTrans electric-only bus.

The 42-passenger school bus will be equipped with a 120-kilowatt (161-horsepower) electric motor powered by a pair of 278-volt lithium-ion battery packs. Moreover, the eTrans features an auxiliary unit fueled by either compressed natural gas or propane in order to run the bus' heating and air conditioning systems.

The eTrans' range depends on operating conditions, but Trans Tech claims bus drivers will be able to go approximately 100 to 130 miles on a charge. The bus' top speed checks in at a city-capable 50 miles per hour. Dan Daniels, president of Trans Tech, states:
The eTrans will be ideal for short, defined, repetitive routes. In addition, given that most school buses operate during the day, school districts and bus contractors will be able to take advantage of lower, off-peak electricity rates by recharging their fleets at night, when demand is at its lowest.
The eTrans was officially unveiled on October 23 and is scheduled to launch in limited numbers in early 2012. Full-scale production is set to commence in mid-to late 2012. In terms of price, that's not been made public yet and Daniels says that Trans Tech is working to ensure the eTrans is "priced competitively."


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  • 36 Comments
      Jim R
      • 3 Years Ago
      Its range drops to 20 miles when filled with typical overweight American kids.
        hmmwv
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jim R
        Good thing those electrical motors will give full torque from the get go.
        chrono00
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jim R
        Usually I'd be against insulting people, but this is actually might be true than false. Just go to your own local Walmart, the mall, the grocery store... children obesity is so bad these days. And, having that much combined weight on an electric vehicle is going to be bad for maximum range.
      atc98092
      • 3 Years Ago
      That green bumper has got to go! Not hot on the wheels either, but the green on the side for accent I can live with. A school bus is a great example of a vehicle that fits the EV profile. Delivery vehicles (mail, UPS, FexEx) are another, especially in urban areas. While there would still ba a need for some liquid fueled buses (field trips, rural areas with long drives) the vast majority of their routes probably never cover more than 15-20 miles per shift.
        kevsflanagan
        • 3 Years Ago
        @atc98092
        Pretty sure those green accents were there on the show bus to highlight the fact its "Green" gotta love how companis do corny crap like that lol
      PiCASSO
      • 3 Years Ago
      I would welcome these in a heart-beat. How many times I've found myself driving behind these smelly diesel buses, with fumes directed to the back instead up in the air like normal buses or trucks.
      CromwellD
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why is it that you cannot reply to a comment after you have voted on it?
      Ryan
      • 3 Years Ago
      That is a really cool idea, and a truly perfect application for electric technology.
      Nick Allain
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ugly bus but awesome application of technology. Hopefully this thing is as safe as the rest of the school busses out there.
      MrMet
      • 3 Years Ago
      With all that space on the roof, I wonder if it would be worthwhile to throw some solar panels ontop to help charge the battery while the bus is out and about? Or even while it is parked in the middle of the day, savings even more money then the off-peak discount from charging at night.
      DrEvil
      • 3 Years Ago
      I know that the "Capitalists" in the US frown on this whole "Green Economy" idea. However, it really is the new upcoming industry in the US, and their main opposition to it, is that they haven't figured how to leverage (RAPE) the industry yet. Regardless of what the government does, we will not cycle our way out of this hole that we were put in by the geniuses of the "Street". We really need to support efforts like this one. Not only does this industry put people back to work, it also helps keep all those energy $$$ that we send off-shore by the boat-loads home. Don't care whether you support the "Green Economy" or not, this movement is for real, and there is no going back. Sure there are going to be a few Solyndras along the way, we must keep pushing on. KUDOS to Trans-Tech for this effort. Let's all pray that the plunderers of Wall Street stay on the side-lines a little bit longer.
        WillieD
        • 3 Years Ago
        @DrEvil
        Yes, we need to give more taxpayer money to more companies like Solyndra so they can fail. Great idea.
        sirvixisvexed
        • 3 Years Ago
        @DrEvil
        "I know that the "Capitalists" in the US frown on this whole "Green Economy" idea." Ever heard of Elon Musk?
      Basil Exposition
      • 3 Years Ago
      "given that most school buses operate during the day, school districts and bus contractors will be able to take advantage of lower, off-peak electricity rates by recharging their fleets at night, when demand is at its lowest." This makes no sense. School buses operate primarily in the morning and evening, meaning there is just as much charging during peak hours (midday) as off hours (night). Accounting for charging time, the max miles/day you could put on this thing would be 200-260. Not necessarily a deal breaker for everyone, but definitely takes it off the table as an option for a lot of rural and staggered-start districts.
        kevsflanagan
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Basil Exposition
        I think you missed the part where they said short repeatiive routes. This would be the busses that would pick the kids up in the morning and bring them home in the afternoon. These wouldnt be the busses that haul kids for say day long fieldtrips.
        CromwellD
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Basil Exposition
        Yes, they operate in the morning and evening (afternoon to early-evening actually); therefore, they can be charged at NIGHT, which if off-peak times for electricity... They wouldn't need to charge this midday due to the range. Most city school busses operate less than 100 miles per day..
          Basil Exposition
          • 3 Years Ago
          @CromwellD
          "Most city school busses operate less than 100 miles per day" Where are you getting this??? Rural districts exceed 100 miles due to the nature of the route. Urban districts exceed 100 miles because they generally run multiple routes due to staggered starts. If your district is running buses less than 100 miles a day, your transportation logistics manager needs to be fired asap - that is pathetic utilization. And to range-limit a bus by not charging it during the mid-day idle hours? You're nuts.
      thePeterN
      • 3 Years Ago
      Since it's electric does this mean kids won't be able to hear the bus coming? So glad I'm done being a kid, I just would never know when to get up and rush out the door!!!
      kevsflanagan
      • 3 Years Ago
      Awesome application. This could save bus companies and school districts thousands of dollars per year. Plus since most bus trips especially those for middle school top out perhaps at 5 miles trip to pick up kids it would be a perfect application of a EV. Have the bus company or school bus parking lot area install some solar panels or a wind generator and bam they could be off the grid and save even more.
      IBx27
      • 3 Years Ago
      Is this an American company? If so, then this is a perfect solution for bus companies! Do you have any idea how much it costs to fuel one bus each day? There's something like $500 of diesel per bus every day, so in one school district with 30 buses that's $15,000 every single day. 200 days in the school year, that's a $3,000,000 cost right there, not to mention upkeep on the engines.
        WillieD
        • 3 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        How did you come up with such figures?
          The_Zachalope
          • 3 Years Ago
          @WillieD
          ^This Our school district covers nearly 100 square miles, and their budget is $2.2m for fuel and maintenance for 75 buses.
          Dave
          • 3 Years Ago
          @WillieD
          "Our school district covers nearly 100 square miles, and their budget is $2.2m for fuel and maintenance for 75 buses." $2,200,000 / 75 buses / 180 days = $163 per bus per day for fuel and maintenance.
          IBx27
          • 3 Years Ago
          @WillieD
          I remember talking with a friend of ours who's a bus driver, he says that about $500 of diesel goes into the big buses every morning. Either way, the cost for fuel and maintainance is in the 7-figure range and having electric buses could potentially cut that number down by a lot.
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