Bringing California closer to its goal to transition all public transit agencies to 100% zero-emission bus fleets by 2040, AMPLY Power says it will manage the charging of electric buses for SolTrans, a public transportation provider for southern Solano County, Calif.
Unique to this application, AMPLY is operating its cloud-based software in conjunction with the fueling of SolTrans buses that run on compressed natural gas (CNG). SolTrans’ operations and maintenance facility is now optimized for energy use and demand charge avoidance through AMPLY’s hardware-agnostic software solution and operational processes.
“Today, almost 100,000 of our trips on local bus routes are operating with zero emissions,” says Elizabeth Patterson, board chairperson at SolTrans.
“This electric growth for SolTrans meant that we had to build a process of managing these fleets while keeping costs down, and that’s where the AMPLY team came in. By its data-driven approach to operationalizing our electric fleet, AMPLY Power provides us the confidence to continue our growth into full electric deployment,” she adds.
At SolTrans’ Facility, AMPLY Power installed a cloud-based smart charging system that monitors the charging status and power levels in real-time, deploying algorithms to minimize utility demand and time-of-use rate charges. AMPLY’s cloud-based system keeps utility costs down by optimizing EV charging and other energy use in the depot’s operations. When the CNG compressors turn on, AMPLY Power immediately reduces or suspends the EV charging stations to ensure that the 15-minute power will not increase electricity demand costs. This is believed to be a first for managing total fuel costs across vehicle types.
Currently, the transit agency’s fleet consists of 44% non-diesel vehicles; Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) funded two of the four battery-electric buses, one CNG bus and 21 diesel-hybrid buses. In addition, it is running two CNG paratransit vehicles, and 16 in its SolanoExpress fleet. SolTrans has four charging stations at its Operations and Maintenance Facility. SolTrans’ ridership for the most recent data available was just over 1.4 million one way rides a year.
Photo: SolTrans sourced AMPLY to manage EV charging operations for its zero-emission bus fleet