Fast-Charging Electric Buses Come To SoCal

I know we have a lot of readers from Southern California. Sure the weather is great, and the people are generally friendly, but for me it is just too crowded and congested to ever call home. Plus, for such a progressive place, there is a surprising lack of good public transportation. Then again, California has been making big strides towards electric and hybrid vehicles, whether en masse or one municipality at a time. Give credit where credit is due, I always say.

Much credit is due the Foothill Transit authority, which serves Pomona and San Gabriel. They have, at great expense, purchased two all-electric buses and charging stations from Proterra, an electric vehicle startup.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; electric vehicles make the most sense for cities. Most of these vehicles drive pre-determined routes and just a handful of miles every day. Even with their limited range, big advances have been made in recharging technology. Proterra’s buses can recharge in just 10 minutes at their charging stations. Not as quick as a gas fill up necessarily, but fast enough to get the 70 kWh battery up and running again.

Of course, this all cost a pretty penny. $5.6 million for the two buses and charging stations. Considering that a standard diesel bus costs between $250,000 and $300,000, it will take a long, long time to make up that price deficit. Many cities simply can’t afford that, especially in this economy. One small step at a time. It gives me hope that one day, I’ll see electric buses on a regular basis, and the addition of two electric buses to a fleet won’t even be news worthy.

Source: GreenTech Media | Image: Proterra

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.