Bus maker Blue Bird is developing the electric vehicle. Bus maker Blue Bird is developing the electric vehicle.

California-based Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. says it will provide the electric drivetrain for a $4.4 million program by the U.S. Department of Energy to accelerate the adoption of advanced and alternative fuel vehicles. The drivetrain will be supplied to Blue Bird Corp., a school bus manufacturer, that was the lead awardee of the DOE funding.

EDI will supply an electric drivetrain and related power equipment to Blue Bird to develop a fleet of zero-emissions electric-powered school buses with Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) capabilities.

The bus offers 100+ miles of all electric driving, with the expected performance of a traditional diesel drivetrain and with no change to driver behavior to operate. Fleet managers will have access to real-time fleet tracking and vehicle diagnostics featuring the location, state of charge and other information.

School buses are one of the largest mass transit segments in the country, carrying more than twice the number of passengers as the entire U.S. transit and rail sectors, EDI says.

Combined with matching funding from other public and private entities in California, the total project funding will be over $9 million and will result in an eight bus demonstration fleet deployed in California by 2019.