Thomas Built Buses Unveils ‘Jouley’ All-Electric School Bus


Thomas Built Buses, a North Carolina-based manufacturer of school buses and subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America, debuted the Saf-T-Liner C2 Electric school bus, referred to as Jouley, at the NAPT conference and trade show in Ohio on Nov. 4. Jouley is the first generation of Thomas Built’s electric series production school bus.

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, according to Thomas Built Buses. In this capacity, students riding the school bus will be able 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.”

According to the company, its first-generation Saf-T-Liner C2 Electric bus comes equipped with the PowerDrive 7000ev powertrain from Efficient Drivetrains Inc. (EDI), which provides 100-160 kWh of battery energy and a baseline of 100-miles 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 the PowerSuite vehicle control software and the PowerTracker 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 [compressed natural gas]-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.”

Thomas Built Buses is a member of the Daimler global truck group and draws upon Daimler’s worldwide resources for technology and innovations. Fuso, a Daimler company, recently debuted the FUSO eCanter, an all-electric light-duty truck in series production, with sales in the U.S., Japan and Europe.

“We are pleased to debut the first-generation Saf-T-Liner C2 Electric school bus,” said Edgerly. “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.”

The Saf-T-Liner C2 Electric is slated to be in early production in 2019.

Photo courtesy of Thomas Built Buses’ Facebook page

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