HIGH POINT, N.C. — Thomas Built Buses recently began deliveries of 20 Saf-T-Liner C2e hybrid school buses to 13 Kentucky school districts, with the potential for additional orders in the near future.
Delivery of the first order began with LaRue County Public Schools on July 27 and will be completed on October 15 with a delivery to Kenton County School District.
The Thomas Built Buses Saf-T-Liner hybrid C2e school bus is powered by a 2010 EPA-compliant Cummins diesel engine, coupled with an Eaton hybrid-electric parallel system. Developed jointly by Thomas Built Buses, Eaton Corp. and Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp., the fuel-saving hybrid technology leverages Thomas’ years of experience as an innovator in the school bus industry. The regenerative configuration allows schools to operate the new buses without adding infrastructure for plug-in recharging stations.
“There is a lot of buzz about hybrid buses, but Thomas Built Buses is the first and only company that is able to deliver school buses with hybrid technology in Kentucky at this time,” said Ken Hedgecock, Thomas Built Buses’ vice president of sales, marketing and service.
The buses were purchased through Louisville, Ky.-based Thomas dealer Whayne Supply Company.
The purchase was made possible by a $12.9 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant to the state of Kentucky, which will allow the state to replace up to 200 of its oldest buses with hybrid buses throughout the next school year.
“We welcome the opportunity offered by this federal grant to prove the new technology in our local school districts,” said Dave Mangum, transportation consultant for school buses for the Kentucky State Department of Education.
Thomas Built’s hybrid Saf-T-Liner C2e is expected to reduce emissions and improve fuel economy by 30 percent or more, the company said. In addition to fuel economy, the hybrid buses promise reduced brake wear, less component maintenance and cleaner, quieter operation.