If Daimler has its way, the wheels on the bus will go round and round via electric motors and battery packs in the very near future. Last Friday, Daimler subsidiary Thomas Built Buses revealed the all-electric Saf-T-Liner C2 "Jouley" school bus.
The nickname "Jouley" comes from the word "Joule," which is a measurement of energy. The brand said the bus will seat 81 kiddos and shuffle them off to school with a 60-kilowatt battery pack to provide a range of 100 miles. Operators can lower fleet costs since there's no need for fossil fuels, specifically, diesel, and the benefits extend to reduced noise pollution. For fleets with longer-distance needs, Thomas Built Buses will also offer a larger battery pack option, though it did not provide specs or range estimates.
Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, will continue to electrify numerous segments of its businesses. Most recently, the automaker's Fuso commercial truck division announced the all-electric eCanter. UPS will take delivery of the first units of this light-duty truck in the United States for last-mile delivery services. With today's battery technology, electric commercial vehicles work best in final destination deliveries where range is not an issue. The eCanter muscles 62 all-electric miles of range.
If all goes according to plan, Daimler will begin production of the Jouley school bus in 2019 with distribution following shortly thereafter.