Thomas Built Buses have accomplished a commendable milestone with help from its Virginia-based dealer Sonny Merryman. Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley electric school buses have now driven more than 500,000 miles.
These electric uses produce zero emissions, are more efficient, and can cost less to maintain, with abilities their gas-powered contemporaries lack.
450,000 yellow school buses across the United States travel over 4.3 billion miles each year, according to information from the US Department of Transportations National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
As of June 2022, 38 states had adopted electric school buses due to multiple initiatives like the $5 billion Clean School Bus program.
States like Virginia are providing funding and accelerating the shift to electric vehicles. For example, in 2019, Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam and Dominion Energy announced the provision of 13,000 electric school buses by the end of 2030.
The first electric school bus to operate in the state of Virginia was Thomas Built Buses’ Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley in November 2020.
Virginia has 64 electric buses currently. The first 50 were purchased and deployed through the Dominion Energy program, and the remaining 14 were funded by the American Power electric school bus program.
The 500,000 miles driven include several different terrains (city, rural, and hills) and distances from less than 20 miles to more than 90 miles. These electric buses have been used for field trips, band competitions, and more.
By using electric buses for these trips, 447.7 short tons of greenhouse gases were avoided, according to the AFLEET tool.
These electric buses have proven to be successful in the operations they have been used in. Also, the drivers who have shifted to the electric Jouley school buses have liked them so far, according to the school bus dealer.
Electric school buses are a great initiative to protect students and communities from harmful emissions while saving school districts money on fuel and maintenance in the long run.