Thomas Built unveils new electric Saf-T-Liner school bus

COLUMBUS, Ohio – School bus manufacturer Thomas Built Buses has unveiled the Saf-T-Liner C2 Electric School Bus, referred to as Jouley.

Jouley, the first-generation of Thomas Built’s electric series production school bus, is expected to be in early production in 2019.

In addition to the same vehicle performance, safety and comfort as the Saf-T-Liner C2, this new electric school bus has quiet operation and produces zero emissions and even exportable power.

That will allow students riding the school bus to charge their computers and other devices directly from the bus.

“Jouley is named after the joule unit of energy,” said Caley Edgerly, president and CEO of Thomas Built Buses. “A joule is equivalent to the amount of energy that is dissipated as heat when an electric current of one ampere passes through a resistance of one ohm for one second. So we are having fun with Jouley.”

The Saf-T-Liner C2 Electric School Bus comes equipped with a powertrain from Efficient Drivetrains, Inc., that provides 100 to 160 kilowatt hours of battery energy and a baseline 100-mile range and an operating range up to 100 miles between charges, with an option for a higher range with additional battery packs.

Among its features is a vehicle control software and a telematics and diagnostics system that tracks bus location and provides real-time monitoring of potential issues.

“Daimler Trucks North America is committed to developing sustainable mobility with an emphasis on battery electric vehicles,” said Roger Nielsen, Daimler Trucks North America president and CEO. “DTNA is the industry’s leader in alternative energy propelled vehicles, including a broad line-up of CNG-powered trucks and buses, and our series of propane-powered school buses and medium duty trucks.

“Our commitment to battery electric vehicles continues our strong leadership in matching our customers’ needs with the best powertrain for their application and environment,” Nielsen said.

Thomas Built Buses is a member of the Daimler global truck group and draws upon Daimler’s worldwide resources for technology and innovations.

Parent company Daimler AG recently announced a major corporate overhaul granting its cars and trucks operations more independence in a bid to become more nimble and better confront the disruptive shift to self-driving electric vehicles.

Under the plan, the German automotive giant would break up its conglomerate structure by transforming itself into a holding company with three units: Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans, Daimler Trucks & Buses and the financial services unit.

“We are pleased to debut the first generation Saf-T-Liner C2 Electric School Bus,” Edgerly said. “Continuous improvement and innovation are core to both Thomas Built Buses and Daimler and we are excited to explore additional enhancements and features that can be leveraged with this new electric powertrain.”

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