UniteGPS – There’s a new zero-emission solution en route to the North American market after the Chinese auto manufacturer BYD revealed its new Type A electric bus. 

Meaning Build Your Dream, BYD’s most recent model comes with vehicle-to-grid (V2G) plug-in technology and bi-directional charging, depending on the school district’s energy needs. Thanks to these innovations, the Type A electric school bus with its 30-student capacity can reportedly drive up to 140 miles on a single charge.

“Just like our Type D bus introduced last year, our Type A bus bi-directional charging capability is a game-changer,” said Samuel Kang, BYD’s Head of Total Technology Solutions, in a recent press release. 

“School buses can be charged overnight when energy demand is low, and clean emission-free energy can be fed back into the classroom during school hours when the bus is parked keeping classrooms well-lit and students and teachers plugged-in.” 

READ MORE: West Virginia to host GreenPower electric school bus plant

Another innovation behind the Type A electric school bus is its protective Predictive Stop Arm™ that’s capable of monitoring oncoming traffic, notifying students when it’s safe to cross while disembarking the bus. Additionally, it comes with a liftgate for handicapped students with an 800-pound limit.

Even better for drivers, the cockpit has been enhanced ergonomically with a comfortable seat, a 16.5-inch power steering wheel and telescopic steering column, easy-access control switches, among other features. 

Type A electric bus V2G technology 

Built around design, performance, and safety, the V2G technology behind the Type A electric school bus also allows the vehicle to serve as a power storage resource when it’s not operating. In this sense, Type A improves efficiency for fleet operations by serving as both a vehicle and power storage resource.

READ MORE: Modesto City Schools in California approves purchase of 30 electric buses

As for battery use, the Type A electric school bus runs on a lithium iron phosphate (LFP) that can recharge at two different speeds; the 150kW DC for fast charging or the slower 19.2 kW single-phase AC charging. According to BYD, this is the safest and most reliable battery in the electric vehicle industry. 

Despite no official release date for this vehicle, school districts converting diesel vehicles to electric can expect a solution to limited charge time. That’s to say, one of the general concerns for electric bus fleet implementation is the appropriate charge time, especially when driving students in rural areas on routes exceeding 100 miles. 

More about BYD

BYD began targeting the US school system last June with its Type D electric school bus with bi-directional charging capabilities and 155-mile charging distance. It has previously collaborated with companies such as Nuuve and Levo to develop V2G technologies,

“We are raising the bar for design, innovation, range, and quality, giving parents peace of mind knowing their children are benefitting from the safest school bus anywhere,” said President of BYD North America, Stella Li, last year when BYD released the Type D electric school bus.

“At the same time, our buses will give operators the performance and cost savings that will make migrating to zero-emission technology affordable and practical.”

One of its subsidiaries, BYD Auto, not only manufactures “blade” electric vehicle batteries but also electric cars, buses, trucks, bicycles, among other vehicles. BYD reports that the innovative electric school buses could assist school districts in decreasing both fuel and maintenance costs by 60 percent each.