Thomas Built Buses Begins Delivery of Proterra Powered Electric School Buses in Virginia

HIGH POINT, N.C. – October 28, 2020 – Thomas Built Buses (TBB), a leading manufacturer of school buses in North America, its exclusive Virginia dealer, Sonny Merryman, and Proterra, a leading innovator in heavy-duty electric transportation, recently celebrated the arrival of the first Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley battery-electric school buses in Virginia under phase one of Dominion Energy’s Electric School Bus Initiative. The celebration took place on Tuesday, October 27 in Evington, Virginia.

In December, 2019, Dominion Energy selected TBB as the sole provider of all 50 electric school buses allocated for the initial phase of their electric school bus program, which aims to support Virginia school districts as they transition their school bus fleets from diesel to electric. The program will also allow Dominion Energy to explore the battery storage capabilities of electric school buses to provide reliability related services on the electric grid. The program represents the largest planned deployment of electric school buses in the United States.

“Electric school buses provide an innovative, sustainable solution that will help the environment, protect children’s health, make the electric grid stronger, and free up money for our schools," said Dan Weekley, Vice President of Innovation Policy and Development, Dominion Energy. “We’re excited to see these buses start to arrive in the Commonwealth and we look forward to working with school districts across Virginia to get this new technology on the roads.”

“Our team has always prided ourselves as innovation leaders in pupil transportation,” said Floyd Merryman, president and CEO of Sonny Merryman. “Dominion’s initiative is especially exciting not just for us but also for Virginia’s students and our many loyal partners across the Commonwealth’s public education community.”

The unveil of Virginia’s first electric school buses builds on additional recent deployments of Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley electric school buses across the United States, including deliveries in Alaska, Illinois, Massachusetts and Michigan.

“We are thrilled to pave the way for a cleaner future for the children in Virginia,” said Caley Edgerly, president and CEO of TBB. “We believe electric school buses to be the future of pupil transportation and with quieter operation, lower operating costs and zero emissions, Virginia school districts should quickly realize the cost and societal benefits of this school bus fleet conversion.”

TBB’s all-electric Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley electric school bus is equipped with the same vehicle quality, durability, performance, safety and comfort as the popular Saf-T-Liner C2. Jouley is powered by Proterra electric vehicle technology and is configured with 220 kWh of total energy capacity, a two-speed transmission and an estimated operating range of up to 135 miles. TBB is currently the only school bus manufacturer to offer DC fast charging architecture as standard equipment. Jouley can charge in about three hours and can supply power back to the power grid using vehicle to grid (V2G) technology.

“Battery-electric school buses offer a safe and reliable mode of transportation that improves air quality and protects the health of our students and communities. Now, thanks to the leadership of Dominion Energy, we’re excited to go even further by showing how embracing electric school buses can also strengthen the electricity grid. Along with our partners Thomas Built Buses and Sonny Merryman, Proterra is proud to help power the single largest deployment of electric school buses in the United States with our electric vehicle technology,” said Jack Allen, Proterra CEO.

TBB and Proterra offer electrical infrastructure project management and a comprehensive turnkey solution for EV integration. Known as the Electric Bus Authority Program, Thomas Built Buses works one-on-one with customers through the entire EV planning and implementation process.

For more information on converting to electric school buses, visit Thomas Built’s Electric Bus Authority Program.

For more information on Dominion Energy’s electric school bus program, visit https://www.dominionenergy.com/our-stories/electric-school-buses.

About Thomas Built Buses

Founded in 1916, Thomas Built Buses is a leading manufacturer of school buses in North America. Since the first Thomas Built bus rolled off the assembly line, the company has been committed to delivering the smartest and most innovative buses in North America. Learn more at https://thomasbuiltbuses.com or at https://www.facebook.com/thomasbuiltbuses.  

Thomas Built Buses, Inc., headquartered in High Point, N.C., is a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, the largest heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America and a leading manufacturer of class 4-8 vehicles. Daimler Trucks North America produces and markets commercial vehicles under the Freightliner, Western Star and Thomas Built Buses nameplates. Daimler Trucks North America is a Daimler company.

About Proterra

Proterra is a leader in the design and manufacture of zero-emission electric transit vehicles and EV technology solutions for heavy-duty applications. Proterra provides a suite of products, services and financing options for a seamless transition to clean, quiet, battery-electric fleets. Designed for durability, safety and energy efficiency based on rigorous U.S. certification testing, Proterra products are proudly designed, engineered and manufactured in America, with offices in Silicon Valley, South Carolina, and Los Angeles. For more information, visit: http://www.proterra.com and follow us on Twitter @Proterra_Inc.

About Sonny Merryman

Founded in 1967 by the late Floyd W. “Sonny” Merryman, Jr. and his wife, Lou, Sonny Merryman has served as Virginia’s Bus Company for more than 50 years. What first began as a small bus and trailer sales business in Rustburg, Virginia has grown into Virginia’s largest and most experienced bus company and one of the most successful dealers in the country. With four locations across the Commonwealth and nearly 200 employees, Sonny Merryman is dedicated to providing Virginia with quality transportation products and unmatched customer support.


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