Philadelphia unveils 25 battery buses - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions  -  June 11, 2019

Philadelphia unveils 25 battery buses

A new fleet of 25 electric buses premiered in Philadelphia streets this week with more expected in the next year as the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SETPA) envisions their entire fleet running on batteries.

In a report from Plan Philly, Jeff Knueppel, general manager, SEPTA,  “First we made the jump to hybrid,” Jeff Knueppel, general manager, SEPTA. “Now, we’ll see if we make the jump to all-electric or battery buses.” Philadelphia now runs the largest zero-emission bus fleet on the East Coast, according to SEPTA.

The 25 new buses cost $24 million, with costs subsidized in part by a $2.6 million federal grant. Each battery-powered bus costs $150,000 more than an electric-hybrid model, but they require less maintenance, which is expected to save money in the long-term. The new buses can provide a full day of service on a single charge; that charge can take up to seven hours.

Plan Philly noted that these electric buses were expected for 2017, but the initial model ordered required charging stations on the street. SEPTA paid an additional $400,000 to purchase electric buses that could be charged at the depot in order to save on street infrastructure costs.

An additional 10 electric buses will be added to the fleet for use in North Philadelphia in 2020, for use in 2021.




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