Zero Emission Electric Buses
In 2019, the City of Asheville will deploy five zero-emission electric buses for the City’s transit system, Asheville Redefines Transit (ART). By committing to transit vehicles that are powered by electricity, the City will reduce fuels costs and dependence on imported energy resources. It will also align with the City’s carbon-reduction goals. The estimated impact is an approximate reduction of 54 tons of emission per year per bus, which adds up to a total of 270 tons of emissions per year once all five ART buses are deployed.
Asheville City Council took a step towards achieving its goal to reduce the City’s carbon footprint Jan. 9, 2018, when it voted to buy five electric buses for the City’s transit system, Asheville Redefines Transit (ART). When delivered, the buses will offer Asheville residents and visitors a modern, zero-emission, ecologically-friendly bus ride.
Greenville, S.C.-based Proterra, a leader in the design and manufacture of zero-emission electric buses, delivered the first three electric buses to the City of Asheville in December. Two more are scheduled to arrive in February. They will go into service in late winter/early spring following testing and training.
The purchase of these electric buses was primarily made possible through Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grant funding. In September 2017, the City’s Transportation Department won a highly-competitive grant to purchase zero-emission buses through the FTA’s Low or No Emission Vehicle Program. The City of Asheville was selected as the only award recipient in North Carolina and was granted $633,333. This grant, combined with others intended for transit capital purchases, allowed the City to purchase the five zero-emission, battery-electric buses from Proterra.
January 2018: Asheville City Council approves purchase of five electric-powered buses for the ART transit system.
June 2018: City orders buses from Greenville, S.C.-based Proterra, a leader in the design and manufacture of zero-emission electric buses.
December 2018: Three electric buses were delivered to the City of Asheville.
January 2019: Testing of the electric buses begin, along with installation of related equipment, such as the charging stations.
February 2019: Training of bus drivers and maintenance staff to operate electric buses. Electric buses are expected to start “shadowing” ART buses on their routes, by following them without picking up passengers.
March 2019: Two electric buses are scheduled to be delivered to the City of Asheville.
Spring 2019: Electric buses to be deployed into ART service.
Jessica Morriss, Assistant Transportation Director