Dominion Energy has awarded Sonny Merryman the contract for phase one of their electric school bus program. “As Virginia’s exclusive Thomas Built Buses dealer, Sonny Merryman is thrilled with the opportunity to partner with Dominion Energy,” said Floyd Merryman, president and CEO of Sonny Merryman. “Our team has always prided ourselves as innovation leaders in pupil transportation. This particular initiative is especially exciting not just for us but for Virginia’s students and our many partners across the Commonwealth’s public education community.”

Dominion Energy announced the transformational project in August and set a goal of delivering 50 electric school buses across its Virginia service area by the end of 2020. Shortly after the program’s announcement, school divisions from across the Commonwealth were invited to participate in the application process to be selected as recipients of the program’s first phase of buses.

As the first of its kind and encompassing the largest deployment of electric school buses in the nation, the program is an exciting and historic opportunity for Virginia’s students and public school community. The Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley is equipped with the same vehicle quality, durability, performance, safety and comfort as the popular Saf-T-Liner® C2, but Jouley also offers quiet operation and zero emissions. Jouley is configured with 220 kWh of total energy capacity, a two-speed transmission and an operating range of up to 134 miles. The Jouley can charge in about three hours with the Proterra DC charging system and can supply energy back to the power grid as needed. Thomas Built Buses is currently the only OEM to offer schools commercial DC fast chargers.

These 50 buses to be delivered in 2020 are just the first phase of the Dominion Energy electric bus program. Phase two of the project, with state approval, would expand the program to bring 1,000 additional electric school buses online by 2025. Phase three would set the goal to have 50 percent of all diesel bus replacements be electric by 2025 and 100 percent by 2030.

“Electric vehicles are the wave of the future,” said Merryman. “And we anxiously look forward to bringing this transformative project to a successful reality.”

More information regarding the program will be released in early 2020.