IC Bus today announced the launch of its next generation CE Series school bus, a newly redesigned and updated version of its flagship CE Series originally launched 20 years ago. The all-new CE Series provides customers with efficient operations and enhanced driver comforts, improved total cost of ownership (TCO), and increased safety features.
The IC Bus® CE Series school bus elevates the brands’ reputation for reliability, durability and serviceability, while delivering product and service design innovations. The increased 83-passenger capacity school bus is available in both diesel (Cummins B6.7) and zero-emissions electric powertrain options.
“Our CE Series has remained best-in-class for decades; we have taken into consideration the legacy features our drivers love and built upon them to enhance both operator and rider experience,” said Justina Morosin, vice president and general manager, IC Bus. “Additionally, we offer an electric powertrain to our customers to aid in achieving their own sustainability goals while maintaining the efficiency needed in day-to-day operations.”
Electric Powertrain Availability
The electric powertrain available in the all-new CE Series offers a quieter ride for drivers and passengers, as well as three levels of selectable regenerative braking for a smoother ride, battery efficiency, and operating experience. It comes standard with alternating current (AC) and direct current fast charging (DCFC) readiness and a state-of-the-art digital instrument cluster.
Two battery pack options of 210 kWh with 135-mile range or 315 kWh with 200+ mile range are available to meet customer range expectations. The electric powertrain option operates at a peak power of 255 kW or 342 horsepower.
IC Bus utilizes a three-step approach to electric vehicles (EVs) – consulting, charging and deployment – which allows customers a simpler approach to transitioning their fleets from traditional fuels to zero-emissions options.
“Our dedicated zero-emissions team supports customers with deployment management and e-mobility ecosystem consultation,” said Trish Reed, vice president, Zero Emissions. “As we implement e-mobility solutions in collaboration with our dealer network, we consult with customers, assist in designing their infrastructure, and oversee the deployment. This enhanced, consultative approach allows us to support customers through their EV transition and ensure a seamless integration in meeting their unique needs.”
Improved Operating Efficiency and Costs
The next generation CE Series has taken the DriverFirst™ design to the next level with integrated, advanced technologies and ergonomic improvements to maximize driver comfort and operational ease.
Driver comfort is taken into account through an integrated heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system with improved performance, blend-air system, and automotive-type controls. The completely new system features superior venting and overall output and performance.
Now standard, a stalk shifter for transmission control has been mounted on the steering column, allowing the driver to more easily reach and smoothly operate shifting and engine braking while keeping their eyes on the road. Improved ergonomics also enable gear shifting with a simple push or pull motion.
Additional driver comforts include a full range of driver seat options to suit drivers of all shapes and sizes, improved driver and passenger entry and egress, and a new ergonomic wing instrument panel angled toward the driver with backlit controls.
When it comes to performance, customers can proactively manage fleet health and maximize uptime with the standard factory installed telematics. Each CE Series now comes standard with five years of connectivity, including 24/7 diagnostics and predictive maintenance tools via Navistar’s OnCommand® Connection, seamless communications and up-to-date repair status updates via IC Bus® 360, over-the-air updates for units with Cummins engines, access to utilize gateway integrations with telematics service providers, and more.
IC Bus has also adopted a modular approach to allow for improved accessibility to routine maintenance items, such as the HVAC filter and air dryer, fuel filter, stepwell heater, and oil filter. The instrument panel fuses are now located inside the bus with a chassis fuse block featuring a spill resistant cover for increased safety and easy accessibility.
The next generation CE Series offers improved corrosion resistance features inside and outside of the bus, including a coated fuel tank and bumpers, modesty panels, and a one-piece driver floormat, reducing opportunity for corrosion.
Enhanced Safety Features
Passive and active safety features are integrated into every part of the all-new CE Series. The bus features a redesigned front end with a sloped hood for enhanced driver visibility and a new grille for an updated look. New entrance doors now include single glass panels without separator, providing improved driver visibility out the entranceway.
The enhanced dash cluster with a five-inch LCD color display provides alerts and customizable views for the driver. Integrated safety systems include an optional tire pressure monitoring system, standard electronic stability control, Bendix® Intellipark® electronic parking brake for air brake models, door ajar driver alerts, and the Bendix® Wingman® Advanced Safety package with autonomous emergency braking and active cruise control with braking features for air brake models.