Beverly, Mass., and Beverly Public Schools have unveiled their first all-electric school bus, marking a significant milestone as the community transitions its fleet of school buses from diesel to battery-electric.
The new Thomas Built Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley electric school bus is powered by Proterra electric vehicle technology. The project represents the first all-electric school bus in Beverly and the first Thomas Built all-electric school bus in New England.
Beverly has a long history of supporting and adopting green and sustainable initiatives. Among the community’s sustainability goals, Beverly Public Schools intends to convert its entire fleet of 27 school buses from diesel to battery-electric.
“Beverly is incredibly thrilled to have our first all-electric school bus,” says Beverly Mayor Michael Cahill. “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. This bus produces zero emissions which creates a healthier environment for the students and residents.”
Cahill is a member of the Climate Mayors Steering Committee, a group of over 20 mayors who will serve as a leading voice in efforts to further climate action across the U.S. making up the Climate Mayors coalition.
Transitioning to electric school buses in Beverly offers multiple benefits to students and the community. In addition to providing a zero-emission transportation solution that will reduce emissions harmful to human health and the environment, battery-electric vehicles offer greater efficiency with fuel cost savings as well as lower maintenance and operating costs. For students returning to school, these buses offer additional safety features, such as interior and rear back-up cameras and ventilation systems to help mitigate the spread of harmful viruses and bacteria.
In January 2019, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) announced the availability of five VW Settlement Trust-funded open grant programs aimed at reducing emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx) and greenhouse gas (GHG) across Massachusetts, while supporting electrification of the state’s transportation network.
Beverly issued a request for proposal (RFP) in summer 2019 to lease its first electric school bus and the winning bidder was Highland Electric Transportation of Hamilton, Mass. In addition, in September, Beverly issued a request for proposal for a second electric bus and again the bid was awarded to Highland Electric Transportation. The second electric school bus will arrive in early 2021.