By Jean-François Girard
Senior Sales Advisor
With the G5-EV electric minibus, Girardin Micro Bird reinforces its leadership position in student transport.
A (not-so) well-kept secret
You might’ve seen the rows and rows of school buses parked at the Girardin Micro Bird plant in Drummondville, but did you know that the Girardin family has manufactured minibuses for more than 50 years? Since the late 1960s, our company has assembled 45,000 school buses, commercial buses, and paratransit minibuses at our Quebec factory. Today, these Quebec minibuses transport students all over North America, contributing to Girardin’s sterling reputation. It should come as no surprise that Girardin has ranked first in market share in both Canada and the USA for four consecutive years.
Vehicle electrification in Quebec
Nothing makes the Girardin team prouder than when we can manufacture an electric vehicle in our home province and can deliver it all over the map, to places like California, British Columbia, the Maritimes, or New York.
E450 cutaway vehicles come to us from Ford and are electrified from A to Z by a team of engineers and electrical technicians. Ford diesel engines are then replaced with an Ecotuned electric propulsion system, a company based on the South Shore of Montreal.
Replacing a gas engine with an electric system is no easy task. In a sense, it’s sort of like an organ transplant—the organ is removed from the system and carefully replaced. When swapping engines, dozens of parameters and details are considered, ensuring the new engine functions well in its new setting. Weight, materials, and configuration are all factors, and our experts must ensure every engine meets ultra-precise specifications so that the bus performs at an optimal level.
What’s under the Micro Bird’s hood
The Micro Bird G5-EV gives its diesel counterpart a run for its money from both a mechanical and performance perspective. It’s equipped with 215 horsepower, a Bert Racing transmission, 88 kWh 7-hour rechargeable battery, TM4 energy management system, and hybrid heating. Beyond that, the vehicle’s range is up to 160 km. Plus, its interior configurations can accommodate up to 30 passengers at a time.
The Micro Bird difference
Girardin Micro Bird minibuses’ positive reputation has a lot to do with our capacity to electrify such large machines. But we believe that what really sets us apart is our attention to detail and impeccable finishes. We’ve invested heavily in a state-of-the-art paint shop to help our buses stand out from the pack while staying rust resistant. In other words, our minibuses stay in pristine shape for years to come.
We’ve innovated other areas to ensure our electric minibuses outlast the competition, arming our rides with polymer wheel rims, sealed bearing houses, rubber buffers between the chassis and body, as well as a telemetric system that allows for real-time diagnostics check. All these attributes are in place to reduce the cost of ownership and minimize the potential for damage or vehicle downtime. These are just some of the extra details that make the Micro Bird G5-EV the obvious choice for comfortable and safer driving.
Locally manufactured, meeting international standards
Our vehicles may be made in Quebec, but these buses proudly transport students to and from school all over North America. Every state or province has its own set of safety regulations, and it is essential for us to adhere to these.
Girardin Micro Bird has manufactured, sold, and operated minibuses for more than five decades. We’re proud to call ourselves “bus people.” We understand the realities faced by our customers, operators, and bus drivers because we all share the same mission sand passion. We build the buses we wish to drive ourselves and feel confident in letting our children board. Our expertise and attention to detail have earned us a solid reputation in the industry—look no further than our electric Micro Bird G5 for further proof of our proficiency.