Oregon Agency’s ‘First Move’ Toward All-Electric Fleet
TriMet, Oregon’s Portland-area Tri-County Metro Transportation District, has ordered five 40-foot all-battery Xcelsior buses from New Flyer, the manufacturer said yesterday. “It is TriMet’s first move in deploying a long-term test of battery-electric buses within their network, in consideration of transition to an all-electric fleet,” New Flyer said.
The buy is backed by a $3.4 million grant under the FTA/Federal Transit Administration’s Low-No program. “These buses will have the fuel efficiency equivalent of 24 miles per gallon, reducing fueling cost by as much as 80% over regular diesel or hybrid buses,” TriMet said last month, outlining plans to put the vehicles to work on a 13-mile route connecting Portland proper to the Beaverton area, to the west.
“We’re strongly encouraged by the development of these battery electric vehicles and believe that an all-electric fleet is not just TriMet’s future but the future for the entire transit industry,” TriMet GM Neil McFarlane said in a release.
‘Valuable Firsthand Experience’
“This pilot project will give us valuable firsthand experience to understand how the technology performs in our operating environment including running in hilly terrain.”
“With this Low-No contract, we take another step in the evolution of America’s transit bus fleets to electric propulsion,” New Flyer of America president Wayne Joseph said in his company September 28 announcement.
“We commend TriMet on leading change toward lower emissions and greater environmental sustainability,” Joseph said.
Fuel and Maintenance Savings
Xcelsior battery-electric buses offer up to $400,000 in energy savings and up to $125,000 in maintenance savings over a twelve year life span, and can travel up to 230 miles on a single charge, New Flyer says, noting that TriMet has partnered with Portland General Electric to purchase, own, and maintain the charging infrastructure.
PGE proposed to the Public Utility Commission of Oregon early his year that it install charging equipment (aka EVSE/electric vehicle supply equipment) to support battery-electric buses operated by TriMet.
PGE Wants to Own and Manage Its Bus EVSE
“By owning and managing the charging infrastructure,” the utility told the state PUC, “PGE will be able to obtain key learnings that will allow us to most advantageously integrate the considerable demand that may emerge from future electric bus charging infrastructure.”
New Flyer also reported this week that Phoenix/Valley Metro has exercised options for 30 CNG/compressed natural gas fueled buses – 16 forty- and 14 sixty-foot vehicles.
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Source: New Flyer with Fleets & Fuels follow-up