Recharge Wrap-up: EVs shift pollution in China, 48A onboard charger for Tesla Model X?

Blue Bird Unveils New CNG School Bus

Tesla Motors Inc. Model X SUV Reveal
Tesla Motors Inc. Model X SUV Reveal / Image Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images
View 12 Photos

Customers are questioning whether the Tesla Model X will be equipped with a 72- or 48-amp onboard charger. While Tesla originally had planned for a 72-amp onboard charger — and the Founder Series Model X shipped with a 72-amp charger — Tesla forums are abuzz with reports that the electric SUV will only be equipped with the 48-amp charger. This has caused some customers to question whether or not to install Telsa's High Power Wall Charger or delay purchasing a Model X. The 72-amp charger would provide about 60 miles of range per hour of charging, while the 48-amp charger would provide 25 to 30 miles per hour. Read more from Teslarati.

A new study in China finds "Environmental Justice" challenges with with EV deployment in urban areas. While EVs help improve air quality in urban centers, the increased electricity consumption often shifts the pollution to poorer, rural areas where the electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels. The study suggests future EV and urban electricity consumption policy "should aim to investigate and tackle this EJ challenge head on." The researchers also noted that an increase in renewable and nuclear power can help reduce particulate matter emissions in China. Read more at Green Car Congress.

Blue Bird has launched a new CNG school bus. At the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) summit in Richmond, Virginia, the school bus manufacturer unveiled its CNG-fueled Type C Vision bus, powered by a Ford 6.8-liter V10 engine with a Roush CleanTech fuel system. At the NAPT event, Blue Bird also debuted a new diesel-powered bus and a dual-clutch, seven-speed automatic transmission, all of which offer their customers "reliable, affordable and safe bus options that reduce their operating costs," says Blue Bird Chief Operating Officer John Kwapis. Read more at Green Car Congress, or in the press release below.

Show full PR text

Blue Bird Unveils Three All-New Powertrains for 2016 Introduction at NAPT Show

Newest Innovations Showcase Company's First CNG-Fueled Type C Bus; a New Diesel Engine; and Dual-Clutch Automatic Transmission

FORT VALLEY, Ga.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, Blue Bird Corporation (NASDAQ:BLBD), the leading independent designer and manufacturer of school buses, debuts its latest innovations at the National Association for Pupil Transportation's (NAPT) Annual Summit in Richmond, Virginia.

"Along with the gasoline-powered Blue Bird Vision that we announced earlier this year, Blue Bird's four all-new powertrains in 2016 demonstrate our commitment to new products that customers want and value," said Blue Bird President & CEO Phil Horlock. "This represents an unprecedented pace of new product launches and is an exciting time for Blue Bird and our customers."

CNG-Powered Blue Bird Vision. Blue Bird will begin production of its first Type C Vision bus fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG) in 2016. With its excellent performance and quiet operation, the Blue Bird Vision CNG will reduce fuel and maintenance costs while meeting stringent emissions standards. The CNG-powered school buses will utilize Blue Bird's exclusive and established partnership with Ford and ROUSH CleanTech, deploying Ford's 6.8L V10 engine and 6R140 transmission with ROUSH CleanTech's fuel system. Propane-powered school buses built by this proven Blue Bird, Ford and ROUSH CleanTech partnership have tallied more than 60 million miles. With the same engine and transmission architecture covering propane, gasoline and CNG-powered school buses, Blue Bird's customers and technicians are assured of simpler and easier maintenance and service. The new Type C CNG-powered model joins the Type D CNG bus currently offered by Blue Bird and will be available for delivery in late 2016.

ISV Diesel-Powered Blue Bird Vision. An all-new, modern, quiet and fuel-efficient Cummins ISV 5.0L V8 diesel is now being made available in the Blue Bird Vision Type C school bus. Blue Bird will be the only school bus manufacturer to offer this engine when launched in the summer of 2016, providing customers with the lowest acquisition price of all Blue Bird diesel models. With its excellent performance, the ISV engine will establish a new standard for being the quietest diesel engine on the road, and its compact size will make service accessibility simple.

Eaton Procision Transmission. As the first dual-clutch, seven-speed automatic transmission available for Class 6 – 7 vehicles in North America, the Eaton Procision ensures driver confidence by efficiently accelerating and optimizing shift points to reach the highest gear as early as possible. The advanced dual-clutch module is fully contained within the transmission, and is hydraulically controlled and oil cooled for extended life. Electronic shifting provides optimal fuel efficiency and smooth, continuous delivery of torque to a vehicle's wheels. The transmission will offer the driver a number of new and innovative features that simplify the shifting operation. The Eaton Procision transmission will be an option on Blue Bird ISB Diesel models and will be available for delivery in the summer of 2016.

"Our customers want and value reliable, affordable and safe bus options that reduce their operating costs," said Blue Bird Chief Operating Officer John Kwapis. "Our innovative Blue Bird Vision CNG, Blue Bird Vision ISV and ISB Diesels, and Eaton Procision Transmission will provide a strong return on investment and more choices for our customers."

Blue Bird representatives will be onsite at the company's NAPT booth No. 911 to answer questions from conference participants.

The following vehicles will be on display:

• Blue Bird All American RE Diesel
• Blue Bird Vision Gasoline
• Blue Bird Vision Propane
• Blue Bird Micro Bird G5
• Blue Bird Micro Bird T-Series

Also, in Blue Bird's booth:

• 100-gallon, extended-range propane autogas tank
• Bendix Air Disc Brake
• Bendix Electronic Stability Program
• Blue Bird Armor
• Blue Bird Connect
• Ford 6.8L V10 engine interactive display

Tonight, the company will host the Blue Bird Ride 'N Dine Event at the Richmond International Speedway. NAPT participants will be able to experience the Bendix® ESP® Electronic Stability Program full-stability technology plus Bendix® Air Disc Brakes, as well as other innovative products from Blue Bird. More details can be found at Blue Bird's booth.

For more information on Blue Bird's complete line of buses and new technology, visit a local Blue Bird Dealer or

Share This Photo X