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Dominion Energy’s Electric School Bus Program Surpasses 1.5 Million Electric Miles in Virginia with Thomas Built Buses’ Jouley

HIGH POINT, N.C. – Dominion Energy’s Electric School Bus (ESB) Program, in collaboration with Thomas Built Buses (TBB), a leading manufacturer of school buses in North America, and Sonny Merryman, one of Virginia’s leading bus dealers, has achieved a significant milestone by exceeding 1.5 million electric miles driven in the state of Virginia.

Launched in September 2019, the program has become the largest utility-led electric school bus initiative in the United States, with a fleet of more than 135 electric school buses currently operating across 25 districts in Virginia. Fairfax alone has one of the largest electric school bus fleets in the nation.

“At Dominion Energy, we’re not only reducing our own carbon emissions, we’re also helping our customers reduce theirs,” said Adam Birdsong, manager of customer energy solutions, Dominion Energy. “Our program has helped school districts overcome technical and financial hurdles of electric school bus adoption while improving air quality, protecting the health of our children and hardening the grid.”

“The shift from diesel to electric school buses demands a collective effort and robust partnerships,” said Whitney Kopanko, director of marketing and school bus sales, Sonny Merryman. “Dominion Energy’s visionary program goes beyond providing financial support; it forges partnerships in training, utility engagement, service and maintenance and other program components crucial for this journey.”

Dominion Energy’s program elevated Virginia to fifth in the nation for the number of electric school buses committed. Sonny Merryman aims to have 224 total Jouley units delivered by the end of the 2023/24 school year. Through this program, state and federal funding has been maximized, further accelerating growth within the industry.

The environmental impact of this initiative is substantial. Dominion-supported electric school buses have prevented a total of 1,632 short tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; 2,520 pounds of carbon monoxide (CO); and 4,342 pounds of nitrogen oxide (NOx), according to the AFLEET tool by the Department of Energy and Argonne National Lab. This means better air quality and positive health impacts for students and bus drivers.

“We’re proud of the success that Dominion Energy’s Electric School Bus Program has achieved in Virginia as they spearhead utility-led conversion in America,” said Mark Childers, powertrain and technology sales manager, Thomas Built Buses. “This incredible milestone showcases the impact of collaboration in our industry, and we are looking forward to continued success in advancing sustainable and efficient transportation for school districts across the state.”

Dominion Energy remains at the forefront of electric school buses by pioneering the safe and thoughtful deployment of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology. This capability, which allows electric school bus batteries to act as mobile energy sources when demands are high to help stabilize the grid, is expected to soft launch in summer 2024. Dominion Energy has also supported several school districts in their applications for the 2023 EPA Clean School Bus Program and plans to continue this support in the coming year.

For more information on Dominion’s Electric School Bus Program, please visit https://www.dominionenergy.com/virginia/save-energy/electric-school-buses, and for more information on converting to electric school buses, visit Thomas Built’s Electric Bus Authority.

About Thomas Built Buses:
Founded in 1916, Thomas Built Buses is a leading manufacturer of school buses in North America. Since the first Thomas Built bus rolled off the assembly line, the company has been committed to delivering the smartest and most innovative buses in North America. Learn more at https://thomasbuiltbuses.com or at https://www.facebook.com/thomasbuiltbuses.

Thomas Built Buses, Inc., headquartered in High Point, North Carolina, is a subsidiary of Daimler Truck North America LLC, a leading provider of comprehensive products and technologies for the commercial transportation industry. The company designs, engineers, manufactures and markets medium and heavy-duty trucks, school buses, vehicle chassis and their associated technologies and components under the Freightliner, Western Star, Thomas Built Buses, Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp and Detroit brands. Daimler Truck North America is a subsidiary of Daimler Truck, one of the world’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturers.

About Dominion Energy:
About 6 million customers in 15 states energize their homes and businesses with electricity or natural gas from Dominion Energy (NYSE: D), headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. The company is committed to providing reliable, affordable and increasingly clean energy every day and to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. Please visit dominionenergy.com to learn more.

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