Daimler Owned Bus Company Launches an All-Electric School Bus

School buses may always be yellow, but coming soon they may also be…green.

Daimler owned, Thomas Built Buses, one of the largest and oldest manufacturers of school buses in North America recently announced the launch of the Saf-T-Liner® C2 Jouley School Bus, and with it, the possible future death-knell of loud, stinky diesel engines which traditionally have been found under their hood.



Named after the joule unit of energy, the Jouley is a full-sized 100% battery electric powered school bus.  With battery packs providing 100-160kWh of energy, the Jouley will have a range of about 160 KMs (100 miles).  Charging of the battery packs using standard EV chargers will take about 8 hours.

As the bus is essentially one giant battery pack, another benefit will be its ability to provide electricity remotely in certain V2G (vehicle to grid) situations.

The vehicle is not set to be launched until 2019 so there is no pricing available as of yet.  A spokesperson from Thomas Built Buses also could not provide any information as to whether any of the buses have been ordered by customers yet.

As battery electric powered vehicles offer significant operational cost savings (fueling, maintenance), as well as zero emissions while operating, there would presumably be much interest from school boards and other fleet operators once the bus is launched.  In jurisdictions where carbon pricing is either in effect or is pending, there would also be the potential through the use of the Jouley to either avoid paying carbon taxes or by acquiring and selling carbon credits which would also serve as a benefit to the overall bottom line.

There is still much more to learn about the finer details of this bus and details will likely follow as the launch date draws near. In the interim the company did reduce this rather dramatic, and perhaps slightly over-the-top promotional video (the music alone made me think the bus could also fly) which can be seen BY CLICKING THIS LINK should you wish to learn more.

While the wheels on the bus won’t stop going round and round, it seems before too long, they’ll do so a lot more quietly and with far less impact on our environment.

Eric Novak

About Eric Novak

Eric Novak is a father of 4 who also thinks that environmental stewardship is a requisite of parenting. He's not a professional Dad nor is he an environmental scientist, but he's someone who gives a damn and is trying to make the right decisions as he lives his life as a father, environmentalist and business owner. Eric and his wife Karen have 4 children and reside in Ajax, Ontario.