Bus operator Sonny Merryman, utility Dominion Energy, bus builder Thomas Built Buses and heavy-duty powertrain specialist Proterra recently hosted a celebration near Lynchburg, Virginia to officially introduce the Jouley electric school bus to public school officials from across the state.
At the presentation ceremony, riders were pleasantly surprised by the silence that replaced the noise of a legacy diesel bus. In fact, the Jouley electric bus is so quiet that it is equipped with two noise emitters located in the front and rear bumpers that produce a train-whistle sound to alert waiting students and pedestrians.
Electric school buses are of great interest to utilities, as their regular periods of idle time make them a perfect candidate for vehicle-to-grid programs. Through the Dominion Energy Electric School Bus Program, the utility will subsidize the cost of the buses and associated charging infrastructure, making the cost to the school districts equal to that of legacy diesel buses, and will explore using the buses’ batteries in a V2G application.
In Phase 1 of the program, 50 e-buses will be delivered to school districts across Virginia. The first Jouley electric buses to roll off the production line will be delivered in early November to Waynesboro City, Pittsylvania County, Fairfax County, and Alexandria City Public Schools. Virginia Beach and other municipalities will follow in the fall and winter months.
Phase 2, if approved by state government, will bring at least 1,000 additional e-buses into service by 2025. Once Phase 2 is fully implemented, the buses’ batteries could provide enough energy to power more than 10,000 homes.
Each bus is powered by two 110 kWh Proterra battery packs, mounted between the chassis frame rails.
“Jouley is the most exciting development in the North American pupil transportation industry since yellow paint,” said Floyd Merryman, CEO of Sonny Merryman.
Source: Sonny Merryman