Thomas Built delivers hybrid school buses to Kentucky

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Allen Co

Thomas Built Buses recently began deliveries of 20 Saf-T-Liner C2e hybrids to 13 Kentucky school districts, with the potential for additional Thomas hybrid bus orders in the near future. Delivery of the first order began with LaRue County Public Schools on July 27 and will be completed when keys to the last bus of the order are handed to Kenton County School District on Oct. 15.

The Thomas Built Buses Saf-T-Liner hybrid is powered by a 2010 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-compliant Cummins diesel engine, coupled with an Eaton hybrid-electric parallel system. Developed jointly by Thomas Built Buses, Eaton Corp. and Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp., the fuel-saving regenerative configuration allows schools to operate the new buses without adding infrastructure for plug-in recharging stations.

The buses were purchased through Louisville, Ky.-based Thomas dealer Whayne Supply Co. The purchase was made possible by a $12.9 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant to the State of Kentucky, which will allow the state to replace up to 200 of its oldest buses with cleaner, greener hybrid buses throughout the next school year.

“We welcome the opportunity offered by this federal grant to prove the new technology in our local school districts,” says Dave Mangum, transportation consultant for school buses for the Kentucky State Department of Education.

Thomas Built’s hybrid Saf-T-Liner C2e is expected to reduce emissions and improve fuel economy by 30 percent or more. In addition to fuel economy, the hybrid buses promise reduced brake wear, less component maintenance and cleaner, quieter operation.