GreenPower Motor Company, a Canadian electric bus manufacturer, has unveiled the Mega Beast, a 40-foot all-electric, purpose-built, zero-emission school bus.
This newest version of GreenPower’s all-electric Type D school bus provides double the range with the same functionality as GreenPower’s trusted and reliable Beast all-electric school bus that is deployed in school bus fleets across the country.
Like GreenPower’s existing Beast bus, the Mega Beast can transport up to 90 passengers with comfort and safety. It offers a range of up to 300 miles (483 km) on a single charge via a 387 kWh battery pack. According to the company, the bus provides the longest range and has the biggest battery pack in the school bus market.
The long wheelbase Type D model uses a lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery pack that offers high energy density and a longer life span but a higher initial cost. In addition to double the battery size, It offers more range and more uphill climbing power.
GreenPower President Brendan Riley also noted that the larger battery size of the Mega Beast is desirable for V2G applications where there is a need to use the battery for energy storage and not just for transportation purposes.
“V2G is becoming a common-sense tool that helps to create a more reliable grid, promote clean energy, and reduce costs. The larger battery of the Mega Beast has the ability to provide for a more healthy and stable electric grid and community stability in areas where it is deployed, and V2G is used,” he said.
The electric school bus is built around a modern monocoque chassis with an aluminum body, and the design forms a composite structure, which is the GreenPower Truss(T) factor. This makes the Mega Beast the safest, most durable, and most reliable all-electric school bus available today.
The Mega Beast has the same length as GreenPower’s regular 140-mile range, 197.3 kWh Beast model, so it likely sports the same 102-inch (259 cm) width and 138.5 inches (351 cm) height. Other features include air ride suspension, ABS disk brakes, and the largest pass-through storage space.
“The all-electric, purpose-built Beast has established the new standard of performance, safety, and sustainability in the school bus market. Today, with the introduction of the Mega BEAST, GreenPower also sets a new industry standard in range and battery size,” said Michael Perez, GreenPower’s Vice President of School Bus, Contracts and Grants, in the press release. “The extended range of the Mega Beast will help more school districts make the switch from NOx-emitting diesel buses to the GreenPower all-electric, zero-emission option that provides a safer, cleaner, and healthier ride for school kids.”
The Mega Beast will be manufactured in the US at GreenPower’s facilities in both California and South Charleston, West Virginia, beginning in 2024.