New Thomas Built Hybrid Buses Meet Demand for Cleaner Emissions Technologies

Thomas Built Buses -- Committed to Shaping the Future of Transportation

High Point, N.C. – Building on its commitment to shaping the future of transportation, Thomas Built Buses continues to deliver innovations that contribute to a cleaner environment with its latest offering, the Saf-T-Liner® C2e diesel-electric hybrid. The company has already received more than three dozen orders for the new school bus and has been delivering the units to customers since July of 2009.

“Customers understand the advantages of ‘going green,’ and they’re looking for solutions that offer an easy transition for incorporating new fuel technologies into their existing fleets,” said Glenn Matthews of Matthews Buses Inc., the dealership that delivered the very first Thomas C2e hybrid. “We were excited about the development of the C2e with diesel-electric hybrid technology because we knew our customers were expecting cleaner emissions without a lot of change in infrastructure. This bus helps us meet their needs.”

Most recently, Fort Worth Independent School District was awarded a grant from the Department of Energy Clean Cities program, a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), to fund the purchase of 25 new Saf-T-Liner C2e hybrid buses from Thomas Built. The Clean Cities grant program is helping school districts across the country incorporate green technology and alternative fuel buses into their fleets.

“We are excited that the incremental cost is fully funded allowing us to add the C2e hybrid buses to our fleet,” said Michael Horsley, director of fleet operations for Forth Worth Independent School District. “We try to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars, and this grant allows us to not only expand our operations but do so in a way that delivers cleaner emissions and improved fuel economy.”

Thomas Built developed the C2e from a prototype that reduced emissions and improved fuel economy by 30 percent or more. The Saf-T-Liner C2e also reduces brake wear and component maintenance. The hybrid is powered by a Cummins diesel engine, an Eaton transmission and an electric motor developed jointly by Thomas Built, Eaton Corporation and Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation. The regenerative configuration allows schools to operate the new buses without adding infrastructure with plug-in re-charging stations. In addition to the tangible advantages of incorporating this technology, many school districts also enjoy the boost to their image that comes from operating a fleet of environmentally responsible school buses.

As a division of Daimler Trucks North America, Thomas Built Buses benefits from the resources of its parent company, which is committed to preserving mobility for future generations by making the transportation of passengers and goods sustainable and safe. Daimler introduced the world’s first commercial vehicle with hybrid drive in 1969, and hybrid technology continues to play an important role of the Daimler strategy for sustainable mobility. Daimler trucks, buses and vans measure up to that standard with CleanDrive Technologies for drive systems and SafeDrive Technologies.

“Shaping the future of transportation means conserving resources and reducing emissions while ensuring transportation safety,” said Kelley Platt, president and CEO of Thomas Built Buses.

“By providing groundbreaking technologies and high-quality products, we are able to deliver on our mission to minimize the environmental impact of our transportation solutions,” continued Platt. “With products like the C2e, Thomas is making it possible for school districts to be more environmentally responsible as hybrids are incorporated into fleets nationwide.”

Thomas Built Buses ( is the leading manufacturer of school buses in North America, with more than one-third of the market. Since the first Thomas Built bus rolled off the assembly line in 1936, the company has focused on delivering the smartest and most innovative buses in North America.

Thomas Built Buses, Inc. 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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