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KY: City receives electric bus

The city of Owensboro’s first electric bus, which was purchased with $1 million in federal and

state grants, has arrived. It’s expected to hit the streets next month.

Whether the city will purchase more electric buses depends on how the new bus performs overall, the city’s transit service said Tuesday.

City Transit manager Pamela Canary said the 100% electric bus was delivered by Gillig LLC. The city received a $927,000 low-no emissions grant from the Federal Transit Administration and a $156,403 state grant to cover the city’s match for the federal funds.

The bus’ mileage per charge will vary, depending on factors like hills and starts and stops, Canary said.

“It depends on the route,” Canary said.

Under regular driving conditions, the bus is expected to get 120 to 150 miles on a full charge, Canary said.

“That’s an estimate, until we get it on the roads,” she said.

The bus will have some ability to recharge while in use. When a driver takes his or her foot off the pedal, the battery will charge as long as the bus is still rolling, Canary said.

How much the battery recharges depends on “the way the driver drives the bus,” she said.

The bus won’t be put on the road until it undergoes a final inspection by Gillig officials and city maintenance workers are trained on how to work on it. The bus is receiving a wrap illustration from DMC Graphics, an Owensboro company.

“We are hoping to have it in service sometime in May,” Canary said.

Canary previously said that the transit system has several buses on order, but that the fleet is in good shape.

City officials will know whether they want to purchase a second electric bus after the new bus has been on the road for a while, she said.

“I think we need to have it in service for at least a year, or maybe a little longer,” Canary said. That will give officials time to “to monitor it and make sure it doesn’t have major mechanical issues that would (hinder) our operation.”

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