Daimler's Thomas Built Rolls out Electric School Bus
When California examined the level of air pollutants students are exposed to, they made a disturbing discovery.
"Measurements indicated that for some buses, significantly higher exposures of vehicle-related pollutants occurred during the bus commutes than roadway pollutant concentrations alone would indicate."
The researchers attributed this to several factors: high concentrations of pollutants already present on busy roadways. The influence of vehicles the buses were following and...
"the contribution of the bus’s own emissions. The extent of a bus’s own contribution to these high concentrations appeared to be highest when windows were closed for the older diesel buses, but bus-to-bus variability was high."
While the Air Resources Board recommended several various remedial actions such as replacing or re-powering diesel buses with CNG or using buses with particulate traps, the better solution is to use buses that don't pollute, period.
While a couple companies, including Motiv Power have developed electric school buses and California has made efforts to help fund their adopting, most students still ride diesel-powered buses to and from school. But the sheer size of the market, estimated at 480,000 vehicles, is a temping one of the likes of Daimler and its US subsidary Thomas-Built, which just introduced the Saf-T Liner C2 electric bus capable of carrying up to 81 students. The 160kWh battery pack is said to be good for around 100miles of 160km.
Dubbed "Jouley", Daimler has not yet announced pricing or availability. However, since Thomas Built enjoys nearly a 40% market share, it's safe to assume they'll work to at least raise school district awareness of this zero emission option.
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