City of Beverly, Highland Electric Select Thomas Built Electric School Bus

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Proterra, an innovator in heavy-duty electric transportation, says a Thomas Built Buses Inc.‘s Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley electric school bus – powered by Proterra electric vehicle (EV) technology and the Proterra 60 kW charging system – was selected by Highland Electric Transportation for deployment with the Beverly Public Schools, in Beverly, Mass. 

The project represents the first all-electric school bus in Beverly and the first Thomas Built all-electric school bus in New England.

In January 2019, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) announced the availability of VW Settlement Trust-funded open grant programs aimed at reducing emissions of nitrogen oxide and greenhouse gas across Massachusetts, while supporting electrification of the state’s transportation network. Highland Electric Transportation – based in Hamilton, Mass. – secured grant funding from the Massachusetts VW settlement program to acquire the electric bus.  

The city of Beverly is a leader in sustainability efforts and has a long history of supporting and adopting green and sustainable initiatives. Beverly Mayor Michael 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.

“Beverly is excited to be acquiring our first electric school bus by partnering with Highland Electric Transportation. This electric school bus will produce zero greenhouse gas emissions and reduce our school district carbon emissions significantly,” says Cahill.

“In addition, the total cost of ownership in the long term will save the city valuable tax dollars. Transitioning our diesel school bus fleet to all-electric is an important part of addressing climate change and protecting the health of thousands of school children in our City,” he adds. 

A strong partnership has formed to deliver clean, quiet pupil transportation to Massachusetts students, which includes Highland Electric Transportation, the city of Beverly, Beverly Public Schools, the local utility provider National Grid, Proterra, Thomas Built Buses and New England Transit, the local Thomas Built Buses dealer. 

Under an innovative new business model, Highland Electric Transportation has partnered with the City of Beverly and the Beverly Public Schools Transportation Department to deploy the Jouley electric school bus within the established transportation department’s operations. Highland will own, fuel and pay for all maintenance, while the Beverly transportation department will drive and dispatch the vehicle within its regular operations. Highland is also working with National Grid and is deploying a vehicle-to-grid strategy with the electric school buses.

Proterra and Thomas Built Buses offer school bus operators a comprehensive, turn-key EV program that includes electric school buses, charging systems and charging infrastructure design and installation. The Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley couples 220 kWh of total energy capacity, the highest battery capacity in the industry, with the Proterra drivetrain to offer energy efficiency and range to meet the needs of school bus fleets. Additionally, the Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley electric school bus can fast-charge in about three hours with the Proterra DC charging system.

Photo: Thomas Built Buses’s Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley electric school bus

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