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City of Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus Rolled Out Its First-Ever Battery Electric Bus

Updated: May 27, 2020

For People, Place & Planet: BBB’s first electric bus has arrived!

Published by Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus: Read the full article.

August 22, 2019

1st row (from left to right): Santa Monica Assistant City Manager, Katie Lichtig; Santa Monica Mayor, Gleam Davis; Santa Monica Mayor Pro Tempore, Terry O’Day; Santa Monica City Manager, Rick Cole; 2nd Row (from left to right): Santa Monica Councilmember, Ted Winterer; Santa Monica Councilmember, Kevin McKeown; Director of Transit Services, Big Blue Bus, Ed King; 3rd row (from left to right): Vice President -- Electrified Power, Cummins, Julie Furber; GILLIG President and CEO, Derek Maunus. Courtesy of Big Blue Bus

August 22, 2019

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Big Blue Bus (BBB) unveiled its first-ever battery electric bus during its ribbon-cutting ceremony on August 21, 2019. Guests had the opportunity to get a first-hand look at the technology, design features, and power capabilities, while also experiencing the quietness and smooth ride of the bus.

“Today, marks a major milestone in our zero-emissions journey and our first step in our transition to a clean energy fleet by 2030. This will also mark a significant step toward preserving our environment and protecting our communities,” said Ed King, Director of Transit Services. “This milestone could not have been possible without the support of our City’s leadership and our partners at GILLIG and Cummins.”

Courtesy of Big Blue Bus

“We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Big Blue Bus on its first zero-emission battery electric bus,” said Derek Maunus, GILLIG President and CEO. “Built on our proven Low Floor platform, our battery electric bus provides unparalleled safety and reliability as well as fleet commonality and continuity with BBB’s current 124 GILLIG buses.”

“We are honored to partner with Big Blue Bus and provide market-leading, dependable solutions to begin its zero-emissions journey. Thank you, Santa Monica, for being role models moving people and communities forward,” said Julie Furber, Vice President – Electrified Power at Cummins. “Cummins’ more than 10,000 technical experts are passionate about finding new ways to deliver more sustainable technologies to power transportation.”

The bus was built by GILLIG of Livermore, California, in collaboration with Cummins of Columbus, Indiana, who designed and manufactured the electric propulsion system for the bus. BBB partnered with GILLIG and Cummins to develop a cutting-edge bus that uses state-of-the-art battery electric technology and meets the high standards BBB customers have come to expect.

Courtesy of Big Blue Bus

Customer features include:

  • 40-foot bus will seat 38 passengers

  • Onboard complimentary Wi-Fi

  • Passenger awareness monitor for enhanced security

  • Q-POD wheelchair restraint system

  • Silver LED destination signs for improved visibility

  • EZ Stop System

Equipped with six (6) onboard batteries, the bus is powered by 100-percent renewable energy, and can be fully charged in under four (4) hours, with a paired ChargePoint Express 250 installation. The bus uses a regenerative braking system that helps it reach a travel range of up to 150 miles on a single charge. In addition, the bus offers reduced noise pollution for residents and businesses, and a quieter, more relaxing ride for customers.

Since 2014, BBB has led the way in the adoption of clean fuel, near-zero emissions buses, which has helped reduce its nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by more than 70 percent in the past three years. With plans to purchase and deploy an additional 18 battery electric buses by 2021, BBB will continue its strategic transition to full zero-emissions technology, while ensuring a consistent delivery of outstanding service quality for its customers and enabling its staff the opportunity to take an active role in the development and deployment of the new technology.

For details on the battery electric bus and BBB’s Road to Zero, please visit and view our video at

About Big Blue Bus

Big Blue Bus operates a fleet of 195 vehicles transporting more than 44,000 customers daily across a 58-square mile service area. Nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to a cleaner environment, the entire fleet operates on alternative fuels, including renewable natural gas (RNG), a form of liquefied and compressed natural gas (LNG/CNG), which helps cut emissions by up to 90 percent. Serving Santa Monica and the Los Angeles area since 1928, Big Blue Bus has won numerous awards for its marketing, customer service, safety, and efficiency.


GILLIG is the leading manufacturer of heavy-duty transit buses in the United States. We offer a portfolio of clean energy propulsions ranging from battery electric and diesel to natural gas and hybrid electric, all designed on the proven GILLIG Low Floor platform to maximize fleet commonality. Since 1890, our dedicated employees have been supporting customers and delivering on promises to improve quality of life through transformative mass transit solutions. From initial design through final assembly, each GILLIG bus is designed and built by American workers in Livermore, California, who are committed to building and supporting the safest and most reliable transit buses in the United States. GILLIG buses are known for their unmatched quality and have earned their reputation as the lowest-cost buses to maintain and operate. Our products help reduce congestion, contribute to a cleaner environment, and provide mobility to all. GILLIG is also proud to create American jobs and recycle tax dollars back into the community to further support public transportation. Further information about GILLIG can be found at

About Cummins

Cummins Inc., a global power leader, is a corporation of complementary business units that design, manufacture, distribute and service a broad portfolio of power solutions. The company’s products range from diesel and natural gas engines to hybrid and electric platforms, as well as related technologies, including battery systems, fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions and electrical power generation systems. Headquartered in Columbus, Indiana (U.S.A.), since its founding in 1919, Cummins employs approximately 62,600 people committed to powering a more prosperous world through three global corporate responsibility priorities critical to healthy communities: education, environment and equality of opportunity. Cummins serves customers in approximately 190 countries and territories through a network of approximately 600 company-owned and independent distributor locations and over 7,600 dealer locations and earned about $2.1 billion on sales of $23.8 billion in 2018. See how Cummins is powering a world that’s Always On by accessing news releases and more information at Follow Cummins on Twitter at and on YouTube at


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