Dominion Energy to buy 50 buses for Virginia service area from Thomas Built Buses
Following a competitive request for proposal process, Dominion Energy has chosen Thomas Built Buses to supply 50 electric buses for its Virginia service area by the end of 2020.
“We are excited to take this major step forward to bring electric school buses to the customers and communities we serve across Virginia,” Mark Webb, senior vice president and Chief Innovation Officer of Dominion Energy, said. “This innovative partnership with the transportation industry is key to reducing our carbon footprint. The implementation of this program will provide a number of benefits, including cleaner air for our children, enhanced grid reliability through additional battery storage, and cost savings for school districts.”
While which school districts this Phase 1 project will benefit have yet to be announced, which features were important to Dominion Energy were made clear. Competitors had to demonstrate battery and vehicle-to-grid features and specifications, a good price, warranties, customer support, supplier footprints and diversity, as well as safety standards from both the dealer and manufacturer. From these factors, Thomas Built emerged victorious.
In return, Thomas Built Buses will bring Proterra powertrains, batteries and 60 kW bi-directional DC chargers. Their battery systems are capable of 220 kWh, leading to a 134 mile operating range and, important for the students set to come aboard, the buses also sport seatbelts. The buses will benefit from an extended battery warranty offered by Thomas and Proterra which should cover the life of the buses, which is predicted to be roughly 15 years.