GreenPower Motor secures commitments for 11 electric school buses in California; ARB approval for $95K HVIP incentive
Canada-based GreenPower Motor Company (earlier post) and its California factory direct dealer, School Bus Sales of California, have secured commitments for eleven batteery-electric Synapse 72 school buses from six different school districts in South Coast and North Coast California districts. The two have been giving demonstrations of the Synapse 72 electric school bus to school districts and charter schools selected by the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District for funding directly tied to the purchases of all-electric school buses.
Additionally, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) has approved the battery-electric Synapse Shuttle bus for the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP) for $95,000 for each Synapse Shuttle sold in the State of California. In addition, HVIP provides increased incentives of $15,000 for fleets located in or serving disadvantaged communities and $10,000 for the first three buses acquired by an operator.
GreenPower’s Synapse 72 all-electric Type D school bus has already been approved by CARB for the HVIP voucher, which provides for up to $110,000 for each Synapse 72 sold for use in a disadvantaged community in the State of California.
Schools. As part of the approval and purchase process, these school districts have advised the South Coast or North Coast of their intention to acquire the Synapse 72 and, where applicable, have asked School Bus Sales of California to apply to reserve funds from the HVIP. A number of these school districts are also evaluating their long-term charging requirements in order to accommodate an even larger fleet of all-electric school buses than their initial secured order.
The South Coast AQMD has currently approved awards for Type C or Type D school buses and the associated charging infrastructure to select school districts. To be eligible for funding, an applicant must receive approval for HVIP funds from the ARB. Including the HVIP voucher amount, the South Coast funds will be used to pay for the balance of the electric school bus up to a total of $368,000 plus another $20,000 for the related charging infrastructure.
For the North Coast, the funding for a zero-emission school bus can be up to $400,000 with an additional $5,000 for the related infrastructure.
GreenPower and School Bus Sales of California are waiting for the distribution of grant agreements and completion of the HVIP process in order to move forward with these orders, and they expect purchase orders to be completed by September.
Synapse Shuttle. The Synapse Shuttle is available in a 36.5-foot model with seating for up to 49 passengers or a 30-foot model with seating for up to 37 passengers. Due to the clean sheet design, users can define the interior space of the Synapse Shuttle to fit their requirements, including the seating, racking or festival set-up with tables.
The base model has 100 kWh of batteries and can be configured with more than 200 kWh of batteries depending on the duty cycle for the operator and charging needs for the bus. One of the many options includes an on-board charging system so that the Synapse Shuttle can take advantage of Level 2 charging systems.
GreenPower has developed a leasing program with a specialty leasing company to facilitate the purchase of GreenPower products. In the case of a customer from the State of California acquiring a Synapse Shuttle with a deposit of $20,000 and the HVIP voucher they will be able to acquire a base level Synapse Shuttle with a five year lease for under $3,000 per month.
GreenPower’s bus is ased on a flexible clean sheet design and utilizes a custom battery management system and a proprietary Flex Power system for the drive motors. GreenPower integrates global suppliers for key components such as Siemens for the two drive motors, Knorr for the brakes, ZF for the axles and Parker for the dash and control systems.
This OEM platform allows GreenPower to meet the specifications of various operators while providing standard parts for ease of maintenance and accessibility for warranty requirements.