Thomas Built Buses (TBB) recently teamed up with its Virginia school bus dealer and electric...

Thomas Built Buses (TBB) recently teamed up with its Virginia school bus dealer and electric vehicle technology supplier Proterra to deliver its 50th Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley electric school bus to Loudoun County (Va.) Public Schools. Shown here is Jed Routh, TBB's vice president of sales, marketing, and service, presenting the bus to the district.

Photo courtesy Daimler Trucks North America

Thomas Built Buses (TBB) teamed up with its Virginia school bus dealer Sonny Merryman and electric vehicle (EV) technology supplier Proterra to deliver its 50th Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley electric school bus.

The bus was delivered to Loudoun County Public Schools in Virginia as part of phase one of power company Dominion Energy’s Electric School Bus Initiative, according to a news release from Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA), the parent company 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,” said Caley Edgerly, former president and CEO of TBB, who was recently named general manager, operations planning and quality, for DTNA.

In 2018, TBB and Proterra unveiled the Jouley electric school bus. The alternative-fueled bus, powered by Proterra’s battery technology and electric drivetrain, is designed to offer 226 kWh of total energy capacity and an estimated operating range of up to 135 miles, according to DTNA.

Now, these 50 nationwide deployments represent the first Thomas Built, Proterra electric school buses to hit the roads as cities, towns, and school districts transition to electric school bus fleets.

  • In Virginia, TBB and Sonny Merryman were selected to provide 50 electric school buses to 15 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 2020.
  • In Michigan, Ann Arbor Public Schools and Roseville Community Schools are operating six Jouley electric buses 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 EVs and develop programs that benefit the schools based on the vehicle’s capabilities.
  • In Massachusetts, the city of Beverly and Beverly Public Schools recently unveiled its first Jouley in partnership with Highland Electric Transportation (HET), an EV solutions provider based in Hamilton, Massachusetts. The bus will further participate in a V2G strategy deployed by HET 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 Jouley electric school buses.

“Switching to electric school buses means cleaner air for our kids to breathe and a healthier planet for them to enjoy,” said Gareth Joyce, president of Proterra Powered and Energy, one of the company’s business units. “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.”

Transitioning to electric offers multiple benefits to students and the community, according to DTNA, from zero tailpipe emissions to greater efficiency with fuel cost savings and lower maintenance and operating costs.

“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,” added Floyd Merryman, president and CEO of Sonny Merryman.

TBB and Proterra offer school bus operators a comprehensive, turnkey EV integration solution. Known as the Electric Bus Authority program, the school bus manufacturer and EV technology supplier provide planning and funding consultation, electric school buses, charging systems, and charging infrastructure design and installation.

Learn more about the Electric Bus Authority program.