Daimler Gets Into The Electric School Bus Biz With The Saf-T-Liner C2 – video

NOV 11 2017 BY MARK KANE 16

Thomas Built Buses (a subsidiary of Daimler) has its first electric school bus from the 2017 National Association for Pupil Transportation Annual Conference.

Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley School Bus

It’s called the Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley or just Joulye (named after the joule unit of energy) and is capable of bringing transportation sadness to up to 81 kids per day.

“Thomas Built Buses was founded in 1916 and is world renowned for its legendary yellow school buses from films and television. With a market share of 38.7 percent Thomas Built Buses is the leading manufacturer of school buses in North America (YtD 08/2017).”

With a 160 kWh battery, the e-school bus has a stated range of around 100 miles (160 km) – likely more than enough for a daily school route, but the company says a bigger battery could be outfitted if needed.

According Thomas Built Buses, it was able to draw upon Daimler’s electric technology resources to make the vehicle a reality. The market launch for the Jouley is scheduled for 2019.

The Jouley actually looks pretty cool – although one assumes the huge vehicle wrap won’t be standard (especially on the front windshield…seems like a but of a safety issue):

Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley School Bus

The Jouley is equipped with powertrain supplied by Efficient Drivetrains – EDI PowerDrive 7000.

“The concept bus, Jouley—named by Thomas Built Bus after the joule unit of energy—integrates the Efficient Drivetrains EDI PowerDrive™ EV drivetrain system and EDI PowerSuite™ vehicle control software and telematics systems. The electric school bus provides the same features and expected vehicle performance as a traditional bus, with the added benefit of zero-emissions driving, quiet vehicle operations, and exportable power. The new Saf-T-Liner C2 features battery energy ranging from 100-160kWh, and a baseline of 100-mile range with expandable mileage options. The integrated EDI PowerSuite™ vehicle control software and EDI PowerTracker™ telematics system tracks bus location and provides real-time vehicle monitoring for fleet operators.

Electric buses featuring EDI’s EV drivetrain and vehicle control systems offer fleet operators the benefits of zero-emissions driving, clean-air for its students and the surrounding community, and significantly reduced fuel and maintenance costs. Bus drivers operating the vehicle will continue to experience a standard driving experience—all the expected full power vehicle performance of the OEM, while eliminating harmful emissions. Available government subsidy and incentive programs focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions will also help defray costs for school districts moving to adopting electric buses.

News Highlights:

  • EDI has integrated the EDI PowerDrive™ 7000 EV drivetrain, EDI PowerSuite™ Vehicle Control software, and EDI PowerTracker™ telematics system into a Thomas Built Saf-T-Liner Type C Concept Bus
  • The bus features zero-emissions driving, quiet vehicle operations, and a baseline of 100 mile range
  • Electric school buses provide fleet operators with the benefits of zero-emissions driving, clean-air for its students and the surrounding community, and significantly reduced fuel and maintenance costs.
  • EDI has a long standing history in electrification of buses—integrating its EDI PowerDrive™ technology into several models of buses in North America and China. The EDI PowerDrive™ has surpassed over 2.5 million miles in a commercial fleet setting of city buses deployed in rural and city routes.
  • In addition to the Thomas Bus program, EDI has also successfully completed several vehicle programs globally with other Daimler brands including Freightliner in North America, and Foton in China.”

Categories: Bus, Daimler

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16 Comments on "Daimler Gets Into The Electric School Bus Biz With The Saf-T-Liner C2 – video"

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So they are lining the bus with C2 explosives, in case that kids get out of line? Sounds brilliant.


Said in the video:
Something missing, a tailpipe.
No need to, because there is no engine.

No RPM gauge, because there is no engine.

Well, I think a motor could stand as an engine.

And what about the J1772 charging port?

If you need to fill 160 kWh, it will be a day break every other day for pupils.

Depends on the charger.
J1772 goes to 80A at least.
240V x 80A = 19.2kW.
Not a problem.

And school buses definitely will not be plugging into a wall socket. One would assume that if you’re buying electric school buses you are also going to have dedicated high amp charging.

Semantically, there is a distinction between the word “motor” and the word “engine”. It is not subtle.

Does a school bus have to look prehistoric? Understandably cost is of concern but come on!

Yes, in the USA, it pretty much has to look like a rolling version of hazard tape, there are various specifications for safety of the precious, little passengers. It does not, however need a chrome grill.

And what is das price for all this bunch of goodies? You know this is the first thing these cash constrained bean counters at school district ask about.

OK, found it now. About triple of diesel version, but expect subsidies to reduce it. Hmm…

And significantly lower maintenance and fuel costs over the life of the vehicle. Meaningful calculations and worthy of more than uninformed derision.

In cold areas heating could really kill range… Maybe heated seats activated by using the seat belt?

Sure, but they have to put seat belts in first. Not all states require them, and until recently they were the exception not the rule.

Still trucking kids to school, but it’s a relatively cheap chassis compared to a proper bus. Shame to give up the visibility, given the application.

I love it, but why does it need the nose?

Well overdue: it always struck me as idiotically inconsistent that a kids-in-bubble-wrap society allows dozens of school buses to idle their diesel fumes in a schoolyard. I wouldn’t think NOx and particulate emissions are part of a pre-teen balanced breakfast. Given the passenger demographic (kids), the routes (mostly residential streets), and the driving characteristic (stop-n-go), school buses should be top of the priority list for electrification.

All great points!