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

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

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."