TBB electric buses bound for S. Carolina schools

Image: Thomas Build Buses

In the USA, the South Carolina Department of Education has ordered 160 all-electric school buses from North American Daimler subsidiary Thomas Built Buses (TBB). The order is for the 160 Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley model with drive technology from Proterra.

Thomas Built Buses says the purchase of the 160 units marks the largest single order of electric school buses to date. The purchase is being fully funded by the federal EPA’s new Clean School Bus Program. The Thomas Built Buses vehicles are scheduled for delivery next year.

The electric school buses feature 226 kWh capacity batteries for up to 135 miles of range, the equivalent of about 217 kilometres. Since these electric buses are also equipped with vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology, they will also be able to help stabilize local grids during the day while children are at school.

The 160 electric buses will be deployed in school districts across South Carolina. The procurement of the TBB-built vehicles was done through the TBB dealer Interstate Transportation. The Daimler subsidiary says it the provision of the buses is embedded in a “turnkey electric vehicle programme” that includes planning and financing, charging hardware and installation of charging infrastructure. The vehicles destined for South Carolina can be charged within three hours with their DC fast charging equipment.

Thomas Built Buses claims to have already put more than 300 electric school buses on the road with the help of its collaboration with Proterra. Daimler Trucks & Buses joined Proterra in 2018, and one of the first projects was subsequently the electrification of school buses. Proterra produces the core components at its ‘Powered 1’ battery factory in Greer that will be used in the TBB electric buses bound for South Carolina.

Thomas Built Buses is headquartered in High Point in the US state of North Carolina. As a subsidiary of Daimler Truck North America, the bus maker joins the ranks of Daimler’s other subsidiary brands, such as Freightliner and Western Star. Daimler Truck North America, in turn, belongs to the parent company Daimler Truck.

thomasbuiltbuses.com, proterra.com


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