Electrifying vehicles, one of the actions to reduce greenhouse gases, is globally being embraced by major markets as this technology allows zero emission. Vehicles that depend most heavily on diesel, such as garbage trucks, delivery trucks, and freight trucks are the main target for this electrification.
School buses have routes that are relatively shorter than abovementioned trucks and are most of the time parked for long periods of time, enabling them to have the opportunity to recharge batteries. For these reasons, they are considered as ideal candidates for electrification.
However, electric school buses are currently scarce for they have just started becoming available. Massachusetts, for instance, has just committed this year a $1.4 million budget to kick-start electric school bus program in its four communities. In California, electric school buses will be introduced by Motiv Power, with 13 units to operate soon.
Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, has announced that it will start selling 100 mile-range electric buses in 2019 under its North American subsidiary Thomas Built Buses, a major manufacturer of school buses. This move might signal the beginning of a big change in school bus market within the United States.
The 100-mile range school bus called “Jouley” has a capacity of 81 children and a 60-kWh battery. It will be built on the firm’s standard Saf-T-Liner C2 chassis. For longer ranges, additional battery packs is an option.
Electric school buses are more expensive than diesel-fueled buses, but due to their lower fuel and maintenance costs, the electrification will eventually bring savings to the community. This cost saving is just a side benefit considering that these electrified buses will also contribute to the reduction of air pollution.