The GreenPower ‘BEAST’ Electric School Bus Could Change Public School Transportation

In the push for an electrified future for the automotive industry, much of the media attention is on exciting models like the Tesla Model S and Ford Mustang Mach-E. However, despite the lack of fanfare, the area that will have an even more significant impact on reducing carbon emissions and affecting our lives on a day-to-day basis is electric vehicle public transportation. This includes public school transportation. 

The traditional yellow school bus has remained relatively the same over the years. However, with its new BEAST electric school bus, GreenPower aims to dramatically change the public school transportation system.

GreenPower Battery Electric Automotive School Transportation school bus

GreenPower BEAST school bus driving in a parking lot
GreenPower BEAST | GreenPower

The BEAST is the nickname that GreenPower gives to its Battery Electric Automotive School Transportation school bus. It is powered by a 350 kW electric power. The battery in the BEAST has six total packs, with a capacity of 193.5 kWh. The range of the BEAST is 150 miles and its top speed is 68 mph. It can reach a full charge in eight hours using a standard charger. Using a DC fast charger, a full charge is completed in around four hours. 

“The accelerated adoption of zero-emission school buses means a healthier and more sustainable environment for our children and communities. We are confident that the BEAST will drive the future of the all-electric school bus paradigm shift while providing parents the peace of mind knowing their children are safe and protected from diesel emissions and harmful noise pollution.”

– Fraser Atkinson, CEO of GreenPower

How many people can the GreenPower BEAST school bus seat?

Interior of the GreenPower BEAST school bus
GreenPower BEAST | GreenPower

The GreenPower BEAST school bus can seat up to 91 people, including the driver. Like most other school buses, all of the seats in the BEAST are front-facing. There are 15 rows, with two benches for each row and three seats for each bench. The BEAST is ADA compliant for transporting individuals with special needs. For storage, the BEAST has a full pass-through cargo compartment. 

The BEAST has a bulky width of 102 inches, which is the widest in the school bus industry. Its length is 40 feet, while its wheelbase is 240 inches. It has a gross vehicle weight rating of 42,990 pounds and can carry a payload of up to 13,790 pounds. 

With its air ride suspension, the BEAST provides a smooth ride for its passengers. With its direct drive system, the BEAST has no transmission. It has an estimated 23 miles per gallon gasoline-equivalent. In comparison, a gasoline-powered school bus typically has a fuel economy of around 10 mpg. 

When will the GreenPower BEAST school bus be available?

Rear door opened on the GreenPower BEAST school bus
GreenPower BEAST | GreenPower

School Bus RV Conversions Are a Thing

Orders for the GreenPower BEAST school bus can be made right now. Deliveries for the BEAST will start sometime within the next few weeks. GreenPower expects to have a surge in demand for the BEAST by the end of the year, with plans to ramp up production. This demand for all-electric school buses can partially be attributed to President Biden’s Federal Infrastructure Plan. The Infrastructure plan includes incentives and initiatives to encourage and support the use of electric vehicles.