Nowadays, there are almost exclusively fuel-powered school buses circulating on roads, causing noise and environmental pollution. In recent years, electric-powered heavy vehicles registered remarkable technology progress and now seems to have reached a mature level for a wider user in urban environments.
The purpose of the Scol'Elec project was to realize a prototype electric-powered vehicle, equipped with an original mechanized Renault Trucks chassis and fully electrified by a dedicated drive train developed by PVI. It has been tested in real situations on two different bus lines of "Seine-et-Marne" French department.
This vehicle has a 100% electric powertrain and carries about 100 kWh Lithium-Ion batteries. The objective of this first vehicle was to demonstrate that an electric school bus can achieve high technical performance and bear competitive operating costs, despite an initial economic investment, compared to an equivalent conventionally-fuelled vehicle.
The design and testing of the prototype vehicle resulted to be fully successful, enabling significant technical and scientific progress, such as the development of an optimized relief body, modelling and estimation of the ageing system batteries as well as their autonomy, the integration of electric powertrains in heavy road vehicle.
Moreover, further potential benefits in the medium-long term involving several fields of activity (industrial, economic, environmental) have been identified, such as:
- selling of more than 50 vehicles annually (i.e. between 2000 and 2500 units per year)
- achievement of the 5% of the market share of school vehicles.
- saving of nearly 15 tons of CO2 emissions per vehicle each year (meaning 30000 tons if considering the lifetime of a fleet of 100 vehicles)
- increased levels of security and reduced noise pollution