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IC Bus takes electric chargeE school bus on the road; partnership with Volkswagen Truck & Bus

IC Bus, a subsidiary of Navistar, is taking its electric school bus, chargE (earlier post), on the road for the first time. The 2018 national tour begins with its first stop at the California Association of School Transportation (CASTO) State Board of Directors 50th Annual Meeting in San Diego, Calif.

The chargE concept electric school bus incorporates a common group electric drivetrain from Volkswagen Truck & Bus that is quiet, does not produce any emissions, and can be built to address any school bus customer’s specific requirements. The range of the chargE can exceed 120 miles (193 km), while the powertrain can deliver up to 260 kW (about 349 peak horsepower).


As an early example of Navistar’s alliance with Volkswagen Truck and Bus, which will also include a previously announced electric medium-duty truck for the North American market, the chargE brings together multiple concepts and technologies that will shape the school bus of the future. It also includes camera technology, connected systems and remote diagnostics that support vehicle safety, uptime, and more efficient vehicle inspections.

The company originally unveiled the chargE at the 2017 National Association for Pupil Transportation Annual Conference and Trade Show; the bus will be launched as early as late 2019 or early 2020. The chargE was designed to give customers a zero-emissions school bus option while lowering the total cost of ownership and offering user-friendly options.

On the first leg of the tour, chargE will visit more than 10 locations throughout the West Coast to provide an opportunity for bus industry stakeholders to experience the electric IC Bus CE Series concept school bus developed with Navistar’s alliance partner, Volkswagen Truck & Bus.

The national tour will include scheduled stops at trade shows, school visits, and local government events throughout the country, including locations in and around Sacramento, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles, to provide customers with high-touch learning events with chargE.



Late 2019/early 2020? Sounds like they could be waiting on NMC811.

The 260kW is interesting. Here in California it is common for buses to be limited to 60 MPH for insurance reasons. For a vehicle this size with a load not to exceed 12,000 lbs that extra power would only come into playing steep hills and highway acceleration. Perhaps Navistar has other applications for this platform.


Read where electric buses are 6-10 x more efficient than diesel and LP; Lower cost is a good reason to switch.

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