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Rhombus, Blue Bird, Nuvve Commission 60kW V2G School Bus Charging Solution in Pekin, IL

25 Mar 2021

The Pekin, IL school district commissioned one of the first production vehicle-to-grid (V2G) solutions put into production. The solution consists of a Blue Bird electric school busNuvve’s GIVe intelligent grid services aggregation platform, and a Rhombus Energy Solutions 60kW bi-directional DC fast charger and EV dispenser. The solution was sold to the local school district by Central States Bus Sales, Inc. The Nuvve-branded charger and dispenser shown here are built by Rhombus Energy Solutions.

“The electrification of school buses is critical to the efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and particulate emissions, while reducing energy and maintenance costs versus diesel buses,” said Trevor Rudderham, SVP of electrification at Blue Bird Corporation. “Rhombus Energy Solutions’ bi-directional DC fast chargers amplify these advantages of electric buses by enabling vehicle-to-grid operation, which further reduces vehicle energy costs and can help with utility grid resiliency.”

There are over 480,000 school buses in the US, and over 95% of these buses run on diesel fuel, according to the US PIRG. Vehicles running on diesel fuel are generally regarded as the worst polluters in the transportation sector, with the US Environmental Protection Agency classifying diesel exhaust as a likely carcinogen. It is estimated that 5.3 million tons of greenhouse bases are emitted each year by diesel school buses. Worse yet, the children riding school buses are exposed to these carcinogens as they ride to school and back to their homes.

This is why electrifying school buses is such a priority in the battle to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases. The upside is that V2G can play a significant role in making that happen. US PIRG found that electric school buses utilizing V2G can save up to $130,000 over the lifetime of an average school bus. When combined with the maintenance savings that electric vehicles realize and the grant programs available, electric school buses become very attractive.

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