Step-by-Step Guide | October 17, 2022
Step 4.2: Test Fleet and Charging Equipment


Once your buses arrive and chargers are installed, you should thoroughly examine and test all new equipment to ensure that it meets the specifications within your contract and procurement order. 

You will also want to thoroughly test the new equipment, ensuring that chargers operate as expected and that electric school buses will work for their proposed routes.

It is best practice to test your buses on all proposed routes and under different weather and road conditions to learn how they may impact your range. For example, you may expect that hilly routes might lower your range but then find that regenerative braking downhill restores the battery significantly. 

Things to do:

  • Test your new buses on all proposed routes
  • Test chargers and charging software
  • Design charging procedures and schedules
  • Test telemetry and onboard operating systems
  • Work with dispatch and scheduling teams to adjust proposed route and charging plans based on test results

Questions to consider:

  • Are all the specifications correct?
  • Can the buses run the routes as proposed? How do they perform under different conditions?
  • Do you need to adjust charging schedules?
  • Are drivers and maintenance workers properly trained and able to manage and maintain the new buses?
  • Who is responsible for ensuring vehicles are plugged in and properly charging?
  • Who is responsible for internally reporting issues with charging?
  • Who is responsible for following up with manufacturers on issues and needed repairs?

Potential stakeholders:

  • District transportation director
  • District fleet manager
  • District facilities manager
  • District energy manager
  • District dispatch staff
  • School bus contractor (if applicable)
  • Drivers and associated union representatives 
  • Maintenance workers and associated union representatives
  • Manufacturers/dealers/as-a-service companies