Initiative for School Bus Data Analytics (iSBDA)


In 2019, the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, & Energy (EGLE) awarded the MAPT Pilot Electric School Bus Project (Pilot Project) a $4 million dollar grant.  The funding allowed seven Michigan school districts to purchase and deploy seventeen (17) electric school buses (ESB).  Four of these buses (2 in Ann Arbor and 2 in Roseville) were also supported by DTE.  

In cooperation with the Pilot Project, the University of Michigan Battery Control Laboratory (UMBCL) established agreements with each of the seven districts and two school bus manufacturers to access field data from the manufacturer's telematics and analyze patterns in the operation and utilization of the ESBs.

With four (4) years of driving 300,000+ miles and 72,000 passenger rides, these seven districts have gained valuable real-world experience managing, operating, and maintaining ESBs.

To date, the UMBCL has already collected operational data on those buses and assessed the effect of environmental temperature, thermal pre-conditioning, use of diesel cabin and defroster heater on bus range and efficiency. The UMBCL team is analyzing the individual bus data and provides critical feedback to the districts and the drivers, in addition to deriving aggregate data and providing feedback to the manufacturers with lessons learned for improving the ESB technology further.  

Data collection goals

Visit to epa's national fuel and vehicle emission lab

In March 2023, the EPA, MAPT, and UofM teams coordinated a lab visit at the EPA's NFVEL facility, where representatives from school districts and other state- and local-level organizations across MI were invited to participate. Attendees were given a tour of the facility and afterward discussed important and ongoing issues and concerns about electric bus fleet operation. 

Picture in front of Oxford's electric school bus that was used to transport the group.

 EPA introducing the lab's heavy-duty vehicle dyno testing and EV charging setup.

Screenshot of the trip summary data from LionBeat on the way back to Oxford from NFVEL.