Thomas Built Buses is a subsidiary of the mighty truck-powerful Daimler, and the maker has just presented their first electric school bus at the 2017 National Association for Pupil Transportation Annual Conference.
Nicknamed “Jouley”, the Saf-T-Liner C2 has been named for the joule unit of energy and it’s able to carry 81 kids to and from school every day. “Thomas Built Buses was founded in 1916 and is world renowned for its legendary yellow school buses from films and television. With a market share of 38.7 percent, Thomas Built Buses is the leading manufacturer of school buses in North America,” according to the company, so if its Jouley buses become the norm they will have a major impact on school transportation soon.
The e-school bus has been fitted with a 100 to 160 kWh battery, which grants it an official range of about 100 miles (160 km) – most likely enough for the average school commute, especially since during classes the bus can be recharged. Thomas Built Buses promised an even larger battery pack version, and said it draw experience from Daimler’s extensive electric technology developments, with the e-bus model expected to reach the market in 2019. The powertrain is actually not coming from Daimler, but rather Efficient Drivetrains – it’s the EDI PowerDrive 7000, complete with the EDI PowerSuite Vehicle Control software, and EDI PowerTracker telematics system.