Electric vehicle start up, SEA Electric, claims it is  pushing into the zero-emissions school bus sector in the USA, announcing it is piloting a Blue Bird Type C school bus powered by a SEA-Drive 120b power-system.

The company says that  the battery-electric Type C bus accommodates up to 84 passengers, offering US school bus fleets with ‘market-leading performance and value for money’.

SEA Electric says that the technology underpinning the platform has been proven with more than ‘1.5 million miles of real-world telematics data, demonstrating SEA Electric to be a dependable business partner’.

“More and more, schools are looking to the future with zero emissions school bus technology, reducing their carbon footprint while enhancing the air quality around their campuses and local areas,” said Mike Menyhart, SEA Electric’s president for the Americas and chief strategy officer.

“In the history of SEA Electric, we have already seen an incredible movement to switch to electric school bus technology, and we are proud to service the marketplace with the most cost-effective all-electric power system in the world.

“Outside of the sustainability factors, SEA Electric’s systems provide lower maintenance and ongoing operating costs, with fuel eliminated and fewer moving parts lowering service expenses and downtime,” said Menyhart.

“Also, our unique battery technology, without the need for active thermal management and with mid-mounted batteries optimizing safety and operating costs.

“Through the SEA Type C EV, schools across North America can take the step into the future, today.”

The company says that at the heart of the model is its SEA-Drive 120b power-system, which it says has found favour in a wide range of commercial vehicle applications across the globe.

It produces maximum power of 335hp and peak torque of 1,845lb-ft, which the company claims gives the package a range of up to 240km between charges, which it says is more than enough for demanding school bus route.

“After driving this pilot vehicle myself and comparing it to a diesel equivalent driven the same day, it became abundantly clear that this transition must occur in scale and soon”  CEO and Founder of SEA Electric, Tony Fairweather said.

“With the ability to sell at a new Type C EV price of less than $US200,000 ($AUD278,000) per vehicle there is no excuse for fleets to not consider EV for any and all future purchases.” Fairweather said.  “No need for incentives to justify this premium.  The TCO provides the business case itself.”

SEA Electric said the vehicles battery solution has a 138kWh capacity and a projected life cycle of more than 10 years, at which time the company claims that it is envisioned that the cells would be repurposed for continued use.

Standard charging through the integrated onboard charger can be provided through Level 2, Single Phase (208/240 VAC) up to 19.2kW, while optional fast charging is achieved via standard CCS Type 1, Level 3, DC fast charging, at a rate of up to 100 kW.

The system is also Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) capable, paving the way for future power grid security and revenue opportunities.