Winnebago doesn’t just make RVs. Its Specialty Vehicles division can build vehicles that serve as mobile clinics, food trucks, bookmobiles and more. Most recently, Winnebago partnered with the Vail Valley Foundation’s YouthPower365 to launch an electric mobile preschool called the Magic Bus. Beginning next month, the all-electric Magic Bus will visit eight communities in Eagle County, Colo., to provide state-licensed learning and play experiences to low-income families with children ages 3 to 5 as they prepare for kindergarten.
The Magic Bus starts with Winnebago’s J33SE electric commercial vehicle and Motiv Power Systems’ all-electric EPIC Ford F-53 chassis, with BMW-sourced batteries providing up to 100 miles of range on a single charge. Then it adds upfitting by Summit Bodyworks, as well as all the building blocks, books, games and other learning tools needed for the usual preschool activities. Though the Magic Bus eschews fossil fuels, YouthPower365 PwrUp Senior Manager Kendra Cowles said there are “plenty of dinosaurs” on board.
The Magic Bus’s preschool programs are completely free of charge, and classes are an hour and a half long. The electric bus joins its gas counterpart in its scholastic efforts, and the two vehicles will operate four days a week, traveling from neighborhood to neighborhood.
“The children and families served by the Magic Bus need to be kindergarten-ready even considering the current crisis,” said Cowles. “The Magic Bus plays a critical role in preparing them to successfully transition to school.” As such, YouthPower365 worked closely with Eagle County Public Health to ensure safe, sanitary protocols including social distancing, masks and frequent hand-washing.