The City of Beverly and Beverly Public Schools have unveiled its first all-electric school bus, marking a significant milestone as the community transitions its school bus fleet from diesel to electric.
Thomas Built Buses' Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley electric school bus, powered by Proterra, is the city's first all-electric school bus and the first Thomas Built electric school bus in New England, according to a news release from the electric vehicle (EV) solutions provider.
As School Bus Fleet previously reported, the bus was secured in partnership with Hamilton-based EV owner and operator Highland Electric Transportation (HET), which received grant funding from the state’s Volkswagen settlement program, and local utility provider National Grid.
More recently, in September, HET was awarded funding from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center Accelerating Clean Transportation Program to secure a second electric bus for Beverly, which will arrive in early 2021.
“We are proud to be one of the first communities in Massachusetts to acquire an electric school bus and to begin transitioning our fleet from diesel to electric,” said Beverly Mayor Michael Cahill, who also serves as a member of the Beverly School Committee and the Climate Mayors Steering Committee, a group of over 20 mayors leading efforts to further climate action across the U.S.
“I’ve been in the pupil transportation business for many years and last week was one of the most exciting days in my career to see the first all-electric school bus drive into our bus depot,” said Dana Cruikshank, Beverly Public Schools’s director of transportation. “We’re thrilled to have the electric school bus in our fleet and to start retiring the diesel buses.”
Duncan McIntyre, CEO of HET, shared similar sentiments, detailing the district’s efforts in “building the EV transition blueprint for communities throughout the Commonwealth and country.”
Beverly Public Schools reportedly intends to convert its entire fleet of 27 buses from diesel to electric, according to Proterra.
Transitioning to electric offers multiple benefits to students and the community, including reduced emissions, fuel cost savings, and lower maintenance and operating costs, according to the EV solutions provider. Additional safety features, such as interior and rear back-up cameras, Wi-Fi, and ventilation systems to help mitigate the spread of harmful viruses and bacteria, can also be added to an electric bus.
Proterra and Thomas Built Buses offer school bus operators a comprehensive, turnkey EV program that extends beyond electric school buses and includes charging systems and charging infrastructure design and installation. The Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley couples 220 kWh of total energy capacity with the Proterra drivetrain to offer energy efficiency and up to 134 miles of drive range on a three-hour charge.
“We applaud the City of Beverly for leading the way to an all-electric future of pupil transportation,” said Caley Edgerly, president and CEO of Thomas Built Buses. “Along with our partner, Proterra, Thomas Built Buses is proud to provide Beverly with the buses and expertise for making the transition to an electric school bus fleet.”
Proterra CEO Jack Allen added that “Beverly has long been a leader in the adoption of clean energy solutions,” and the company looks “forward to delivering clean, quiet pupil transportation to the community.”