Iconic yellow schoolbus gets electrified

Iconic yellow schoolbus gets electrified

Summary: The Newton eTrans can carry 42 passengers up to 120 miles on a single charge at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour.

TOPICS: Health

Smith Electric Vehicles and Trans Tech Bus have teamed up to create the first all-electric school bus.

Called the Newton eTrans, the 42-passenger bus can travel up to 120 miles on a single charge, operating at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. That is good for most urban routes. The bus uses Smith Power lithium-ion battery technology and regenerative braking technology, which transfers energy from the brake to the battery.

Bryan Hansel, president and CEO of Smith Electric Vehicles, said there are currently about 480,000 school buses on the road in the United States that burn up to 822 million gallons of diesel fuel annually.

"The Newton operates at one-third to one-half the cost of a traditional diesel, creating significant fuel cost savings for school districts in addition to the clear environmental and health benefits of all-electric, zero-emission transportation for students," he said.

This is the first foray into the electric school bus market for Trans Tech Bus, which has been focusing on environmentally friend transportation alternatives. Hmmm. I wonder what it will be like not to hear all those buses idling in front of the school at the end of the day. Remember that sound?

The first Newton eTrans buses will get their assignment to hit the road in early 2012.

Topic: Health

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  • RE: Iconic yellow schoolbus gets electrified

    ~ That's all very nice for the taxpayers and the environment but when are they going to come equipped with seat belts for the children?
    • RE: Iconic yellow schoolbus gets electrified

      @Ladyfirst Nope. You can't cram more people to a seat that can fit in it if you do. I remember it was a good day if you could get a one full cheek in a seat.
  • RE: Iconic yellow schoolbus gets electrified

    They're not. Studies have been done which found that:
    a) School buses are very rarely in accidents.
    b) When they are, in most cases a seatbelt would not help and might actually harm the children.

    This is why children below a certain age are required to be strapped in car seats, because until they reach a large enough size seatbelts can do more harm than good.
    Then, of course, there's the fact that children are notorious for not doing what they're told. Who will make certain that they fasten their seatbelts? The bus driver? That should not be their job responsibility, and would greatly increase the amount of time it takes to both pick up and drop off the children if they have to check for seatbelts after each pickup.
  • What's the time to charge?

    Most districts have buses run multiple routes for different schools (e.g. high school, middle school, elementary school) staggered throughout each morning and afternoon. Those 50 miles will get eaten up quickly over a two to three hour period in the morning, then you have maybe three hours before the afternoon shift starts. You'd probably need a full charge for each morning shift and each afternoon shift even in a medium sized suburban district, so there had better be a quick charge for these buses.
    Michael Kelly
  • RE: Iconic yellow schoolbus gets electrified

    It would be really cool to top this off with them setting up solar cells or wind energy to charge the bus.