HomeIndustry ReleasesHighland Electric Selects Thomas Built Buses, Proterra to Power Massachusetts Project

Highland Electric Selects Thomas Built Buses, Proterra to Power Massachusetts Project

Beverly, Massachusetts will be first community on the North Shore to have an electric school bus for clean, quiet pupil transportation

BURLINGAME, Calif. — Today Proterra, a leading innovator in heavy-duty electric transportation, announced that the Thomas Built Buses Inc.’s Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley electric school bus powered by Proterra electric vehicle technology and the Proterra 60kW charging system were selected by Highland Electric Transportation for deployment with the Beverly Public Schools, in Beverly, Massachusetts. The project represents the first all-electric school bus in Beverly and the first Thomas Built all-electric school bus in New England.

In January 2019, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) announced the availability of VW Settlement Trust-funded open grant programs aimed at reducing emissions of nitrogen oxide and greenhouse gas across Massachusetts, while supporting electrification of the state’s transportation network. Highland Electric Transportation, based in Hamilton, Massachusetts, secured grant funding from the Massachusetts VW settlement program to acquire the electric bus.

The city of Beverly is a leader in sustainability efforts and has a long history of supporting and adopting green and sustainable initiatives. Further, Mayor Cahill is a member of the Climate Mayors Steering Committee, a group of over 20 mayors who will serve as a leading voice in efforts to further climate action across the U.S. making up the Climate Mayors coalition.

“Beverly is excited to be acquiring our first electric school bus by partnering with Highland Electric Transportation. This electric school bus will produce zero greenhouse gas emissions and reduce our school district carbon emissions significantly. In addition, the total cost of ownership in the long term will save the city valuable tax dollars. Transitioning our diesel school bus fleet to all-electric is an important part of addressing climate change and protecting the health of thousands of school children in our City,” stated Beverly Mayor Michael Cahill.

A strong partnership has formed to deliver clean, quiet pupil transportation to Massachusetts students, which includes Highland Electric Transportation, the city of Beverly, Beverly Public Schools, the local utility provider National Grid, Proterra, Thomas Built Buses and New England Transit, the local Thomas Built Buses dealer. Under an innovative new business model, Highland Electric Transportation has partnered with the City of Beverly and the Beverly Public Schools Transportation Department to deploy the Jouley electric school bus within the established transportation department’s operations.

Highland will own, fuel and pay for all maintenance, while the Beverly transportation department will drive and dispatch the vehicle within its regular operations. Highland is also working with National Grid and is deploying a vehicle-to-grid strategy with the electric school buses.

“We are excited to lower the upfront cost of an electric school bus by offering our innovative model to Beverly. We expect operations to be less expensive than the cost to operate a traditional diesel vehicle, and we have taken that risk,” said Duncan McIntyre, CEO of Highland Electric Transportation. “We look forward to working with the city of Beverly, National Grid, Proterra and Thomas Built Buses to deliver exceptional pupil transportation and vehicle-to-grid opportunities.”

“The City of Beverly is setting a positive example for other cities across the region,” said Gregg Knight, chief customer officer for National Grid, U.S. “I am proud of the partnership between National Grid, the City of Beverly, Highland Electric Transportation and Proterra for bringing this electric school bus to fruition. The transportation sector is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the Northeast. As a utility serving 20 million people across Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island, National Grid is committed to helping decarbonize the transportation sector. The introduction of the electric school bus in Beverly moves us all one step closer to that commitment.”

Proterra and Thomas Built Buses offer school bus operators a comprehensive, turn-key electric vehicle program that includes electric school buses, charging systems, and charging infrastructure design and installation. The Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley couples 220 kWh of total energy capacity, the highest battery capacity in the industry, with the Proterra drivetrain to offer unparalleled energy efficiency and range to meet the needs of school bus fleets. Additionally, the Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley electric school bus can fast charge in about three hours with the Proterra DC charging system.

“We are proud to work alongside a strong partnership of innovative leaders in Massachusetts to deliver clean, quiet pupil transportation to Beverly,” said Proterra CEO Ryan Popple. “School buses are one of the best applications for battery-electric vehicle technology and electric school buses provide transportation that improves the air quality for student riders and the community.”

“We are excited to introduce our battery all electric Jouley school bus to Massachusetts,” said Caley Edgerly, president and CEO of Thomas Built Buses. “Even more so, we are passionate about leading the industry in electric school bus innovation with a strong partner like Proterra on our side. With zero emissions at the tailpipe, virtually no noise pollution and limited maintenance, the Saf-t-Liner C2 Jouley will have a unique impact on the students of Beverly Public Schools, the community at large, drivers and technicians. We cannot wait for Beverly Public Schools to experience the future of pupil transportation.”

About Proterra

Proterra is a leader in the design and manufacture of zero-emission electric transit vehicles and industry-leading EV technology solutions for commercial applications. Proterra provides a suite of products, services and financing options for a seamless transition to clean, quiet, battery-electric fleets. Designed for durability, safety and energy efficiency based on rigorous U.S. independent testing, Proterra products are proudly designed, engineered and manufactured in America, with offices in Silicon Valley, South Carolina, and Los Angeles. For more information, visit: http://www.proterra.com and follow us on Twitter @Proterra_Inc.

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, N.C., is a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, the largest heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America and a leading manufacturer of class 4-8 vehicles. Daimler Trucks North America produces and markets commercial vehicles under the Freightliner, Western Star and Thomas Built Buses nameplates. Daimler Trucks North America is a Daimler company.

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