Energy Efficiency  -  April 3, 2019

University of Georgia purchases 20 e-buses

The University of Georgia will purchase up to 20 Proterra Catalyst E2 electric buses, calling the move a significant step forward in reducing carbon emissions and increasing alternative transportation options for the UGA campus transit system, one of the largest of its kind in the country. The buses are expected to arrive on campus during the next academic year.

“Adding electric buses to the UGA fleet will dramatically reduce transportation, maintenance and operating costs for the university, which will in turn help to keep student fees low,” said Don Walter, interim associate director, Auxiliary Services and director, Transportation and Parking Services, in a report by UGA Today.

After receiving a $10 million grant from the GO! Transit Capital Program administered by Georgia’s State Road and Tollway Authority, the university evaluated and tested electric bus technology to ensure that students, faculty, staff, and visitors would receive the best electric bus possible. Tests evaluated several features including bus capacity, handling, turning, hill climbing, battery range, rider and driver experience, acceleration, braking, maintenance, and durability. The state of Georgia conducted a similar testing and review process and selected Proterra as a statewide vendor for electric buses, enabling the university to procure its new buses under a statewide contract.

Energy costs for operating the electric buses amount to less than $10 per day per bus, compared to energy costs for a diesel bus that total $90 per day per bus. The new buses will also have twice the horsepower and five times the efficiency of a diesel bus.

The buses will be configured to meet specifications laid out by the university that are designed to meet needs specific to campus. “The addition of the buses—which offer a smooth, quiet ride with zero emissions—will make the electric bus fleet at UGA one of the largest in the U.S.,” said Walter.

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