In the U.S. state of Virginia students will soon be going to school in electric buses. Thomas Built Buses, the North American Daimler Trucks subsidiary, was selected to provide the first 50 fully-electric versions of the iconic black and yellow school buses in the first step of an initiative by Virginia based power company Dominion Energy, which plans to switch1,050 of the school buses in Virginia from diesel to electrically powered ones. As a result, the American Daimler Trucks subsidiary has won the largest order to date for electric school buses in the U.S.
The electric battery technology for the Jouley is the result of a cooperation with the Californian company Proterra and boasts a total power capacity of 220 kWh and an estimated range of 134 miles. At present, Thomas Built Buses is the only school bus manufacturer to offer DC fast charging architecture as standard equipment. The locally emissions free Jouley can be charged in about three hours with the optional Proterra 60 kW fast charging system and can, when properly equipped, supply power back to the power grid using vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology.