HIGH POINT, N.C. and BURLINGAME, CALIF. – Thomas Built Buses (TBB), a leading manufacturer of school buses in North America; its exclusive Virginia dealer, Sonny Merryman Inc.; and Proterra Inc (“Proterra”), a leading innovator in commercial vehicle electrification technology, today celebrated the delivery of the 50th Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley battery-electric school bus. The milestone delivery went to Loudon County Public Schools in Virginia as part of phase one of Dominion Energy’s Electric School Bus Initiative.
“We are thrilled to support our valued customers in leading the way for a cleaner future for the country and for our students,” said Caley Edgerly, president and CEO of TBB. “This milestone delivery is an important marker for Thomas Built Buses and a turning point in our industry as we pave the way for a future of electric school buses.”
In 2018, TBB and Proterra unveiled the high-performance Jouley electric school bus. Now, these 50 nationwide deployments represent the first Thomas Built, Proterra Powered battery-electric school buses to hit the roads as cities, towns, and school districts transition to all-electric school bus fleets.
- In Virginia, TBB and Sonny Merryman Inc. were selected as the exclusive provider of 50 electric school buses to 15 public school districts for the first phase of Dominion Energy’s electric school bus program. The first of these buses, which represent the first battery-electric buses in Virginia, were delivered in November of 2020.
- In Michigan, Ann Arbor and Roseville Public Schools are operating six Jouleys in partnership with DTE Energy. DTE Energy will also initiate a Vehicle to Grid (V2G) study to obtain data regarding the energy efficiency and environmental benefits of electric vehicles and develop programs that benefit the schools based vehicle capabilities.
- In Massachusetts, the City of Beverly and Beverly Public Schools recently unveiled its first Jouley in partnership with Highland Electric Transportation, a solutions provider for electric school buses based in Hamilton, Mass. The bus will further participate in a V2G strategy deployed by Highland Electric Transportation and utility provider, National Grid.
- In Alaska, Tok Transportation is operating the first battery-electric school bus in the state, a Jouley, in partnership with the Alaskan Energy Authority.
- In Indiana, Monroe County Community Schools and Delphi Community Schools both recently received their first Thomas Built electric school buses.
“Switching to electric school buses means cleaner air for our kids to breathe and a healthier planet for them to enjoy. With 50 electric school buses on the road today and more to follow, Proterra is proud to partner with Thomas Built Buses as we shape a clean transportation future for students and families across the country,” said Gareth Joyce, President of Proterra Powered & Energy.
“There is no question the future of human mobility, including buses and global sustainability, is electric, which is why we are so excited about our role in delivering the first electric school buses in Virginia and the 50th Thomas Jouley nationwide. With demand for electric school buses coming from all levels, including state and federal government, utilities, and school divisions, this will be the first of many significant milestones for the deployment of Jouley school buses,” said Floyd Merryman, President & CEO of Sonny Merryman Inc.
Transitioning to electric school buses offers multiple benefits to students and the community. In addition to providing a transportation solution with zero tailpipe emissions, battery-electric vehicles offer greater efficiency with fuel cost savings as well as lower maintenance and operating costs.
TBB and Proterra offer school bus operators a comprehensive, turn-key electric vehicle program that includes EV planning and funding consultation, electric school buses, charging systems, and charging infrastructure design and installation. The Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley couples 226 kWh of total energy capacity from Proterra’s industry-leading battery technology, the highest standard battery capacity in the industry, with a Proterra electric drivetrain to offer unparalleled energy efficiency and up to 135 miles of drive range to meet the needs of school bus fleets.
Proterra Powered leverages Proterra’s electric vehicle technology and expertise to help commercial vehicle manufacturers electrify their vehicles. As an OEM that uses its own battery technology to power its fleet of heavy-duty electric transit buses, Proterra brings more than a decade of experience manufacturing, testing and delivering EVs.
For more information on converting to electric school buses, visit Thomas Built’s Electric Bus Authority Program.
About Thomas Built Buses
Image courtesy of Proterra