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School district adds first all-electric school buses to fleet

Fort Payne, AL (August 10, 2020) — Fort Payne City Schools has added the state’s first all-electric school buses to its fleet. These buses are Blue Bird All American models, equipped with the Cummins 100% electric PowerDrive system, which produces zero emissions: creating a healthier environment for the students riding these buses.

"As electric becomes more mainstream, it is exciting to see Alabama add itself to the map by adding these buses to their routes," said Chris Bible, corporate bus manager at Busworx. "They produce no emissions, have no engine or transmission that needs servicing, and are extremely quiet. The community is going to greatly benefit from these buses."

Dr. Laran Adkins, transportation director for Fort Payne City Schools, wrote the grant that secured the funding that allowed the district to purchase the two electric-powered buses. "We were able to secure $1 million in funding from the Volkswagen Settlement, making it possible for us to add these green buses to our fleet," said Dr. Adkins. "Twenty percent of the funds were matched by the district towards the purchase of these electric buses."

For students going back to school, these buses offer additional safety features, such as rear back-up cameras, WiFi and upgraded ventilation systems to help mitigate the spread of viruses and bacteria.

"The air conditioners on these buses are equipped with air filtration systems, to help mitigate bacteria and viruses that students can breathe in," said Superintendent Jim Cunningham. "Every bus in our fleet is equipped with air conditioning systems."

The buses will recharge at the district’s on-site charging station, and are designed to operate in a variety of environments. Blue Bird’s electric buses offer comparable vehicle performance to traditional internal combustion engines while eliminating the need for conventional fuel, as well as oil, fuel and air filters. It also eliminates the need for transmission service, emissions systems, DEF and regens.

"As a manufacturer based in the southeast, we are thrilled to deliver the first electric school bus in the state of Alabama," said Mark Terry, chief commercial officer of Blue Bird Corporation. "We are looking forward to seeing the maintenance cost savings the district will experience, and how this clean, efficient and safe transportation power source will move the Fort Payne community forward."

The school district was also able to add an additional two diesel buses to their fleet, along with these two electric buses. The district says this will help them save in the long-run, and operate more efficiently this school year. For more information on Blue Bird’s electric buses, visit www.blue-bird.com/electric.

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About Blue Bird Corporation: Blue Bird (Nasdaq: BLBD) is the leading independent designer and manufacturer of school buses, with more than 550,000 buses sold since its formation in 1927 and approximately 180,000 buses in operation today. Blue Bird’s longevity and reputation in the school bus industry have made it an iconic American brand. Blue Bird distinguishes itself from its principal competitors by its singular focus on the design, engineering, manufacture and sale of school buses and related parts. As the only manufacturer of chassis and body production specifically designed for school bus applications, Blue Bird is recognized as an industry leader for school bus innovation, safety, product quality/reliability/durability, operating costs and drivability. In addition, Blue Bird is the market leader in alternative fuel applications with its propane-powered, electric-powered and compressed natural gas-powered school buses. Blue Bird manufactures school buses at two facilities in Fort Valley, Georgia. Its Micro Bird joint venture operates a manufacturing facility in Drummondville, Quebec, Canada. Service and after-market parts are distributed from Blue Bird’s parts distribution center located in Delaware, Ohio.

About Busworx: Busworx is a division of Truckworx, which was founded in 1978 as Kenworth of Birmingham by father and son, B.B. and Bob Mitchell. Today, the company is led by Will Bruser, president, and is still family owned. The company opened with nine employees and one location; it has grown to over 450 employees in eleven locations across Alabama and Mississippi. Truckworx represents Kenworth, Hino, and Isuzu commercial trucks, Blue Bird school buses, and six heavy-duty trailer manufacturers (MAC, Talbert, Pitts, Fontaine, Dragon, and Clement). For more information, visit http://truckworx.com/busworx/.