Electric school buses are not just for blue states. The South Carolina Department of Education will deploy 160 Thomas Built Buses electric school buses over the next year. The deployment will be funded entirely by the EPA’s Clean School Bus Program.
Thomas Built Buses and its partner Proterra (which has a manufacturing facility in the Palmetto State) offer bus operators a comprehensive, turn-key electrification program that includes EV planning and funding consultation, vehicles, charging systems, and charging infrastructure design and installation.
Thomas and Proterra have some 300 electric school buses on the road, which have driven a collective one million miles for school districts across North America.
The Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley bus features battery capacity of 226 kWh, provided by Proterra Powered, and has a range of up to 135 miles. Its DC fast charging architecture allows it to charge in about three hours, and is fully bidirectional—a big selling point for operators of school buses, which are ideal use cases for vehicle-to-grid technology.
“With our company’s long history in South Carolina, Proterra is thrilled to see the surge in the number and variety of schools that will soon have access to electric school buses in the state that many of our employees call home,” said Chris Bailey, Proterra’s Chief Business Officer. “Knowing that the EV technologies we’re building at our Powered 1 battery factory in Greer are enabling the next generation of clean, quiet transportation for South Carolina students makes this news even more special to our Proterra team.”
“We’re excited to see the positive impact these buses will have on our community,” said Mike Bullman, Transportation Director for the South Carolina Department of Education. “This partnership puts South Carolina at the forefront of the vehicle electrification movement and brings us one step closer towards building a healthier and more sustainable future for the next generation of students.”