Read the original at Arizona Daily Sun
The first of two all-electric buses will begin serving Flagstaff residents this week, joining the Mountain Line fleet on Wednesday, April 26.
The second Gillig Battery electric bus is expected to begin service later this year, a Mountain Line media release stated.
“Mountain Line’s transition to a zero-emission fleet is a critical component in achieving our community’s carbon neutrality goals,” said Mountain Line CEO and General Manager Heather Dalmolin.
Both new vehicles have been purchased with the help of federal grants and with assistance from Arizona Public Service (APS).
APS is partnering with Mountain Line to study how electric vehicles and charging infrastructure interact with the electric grid. Mountain Line will share battery charging data with APS to inform the utility’s customer programs and energy resource planning.
“As the Flagstaff community makes progress in decarbonizing transportation, this is an opportunity to learn more about how customers use electric vehicles and how they interact with our smart grid,” said Kerri Carnes, APS Director of Customer Technology.
Mountain Line has already received additional federal funding to purchase four more electric buses, and the agency reports it looking to replace all the existing hybrid-electric buses with electric models as they reach the end of their useful life.
The move comes as part of the agency’s Zero Emission Bus Transition Plan, which provides an analysis of various zero emission technology options and maps out the logistics, budget and infrastructure needed to achieve the goal.
Flagstaff voters approved a 2008 proposition to fund the purchase of hybrid-electric buses and 10 years later, Mountain Line was the first transit system in the U.S. to operate a 100 percent hybrid-electric fleet.
Moving to an all-electric fleet would reduce local greenhouse gas emissions generated by the local transit agency by 68 percent, according to Mountain Line. Replacing just one hybrid bus with an electric bus reduces annual greenhouse gas emissions by 61 tons, which is the equivalent of removing almost 10 passenger cars from the road each year. At full conversion, this would equal almost 300 cars a year.
The electric bus will be on different routes around town for the first week of service.
To mark the occasion, Mountain Line is holding a contest for the public. The public is invited take photos of the bus as they see it around town, post them to Facebook and tag Mountain Line at @FLGMountainLine for a chance to win prizes.
The contest is open April 26 through May 3. Visit www.mountainline.az.gov/electric for more information.
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