Google-Backed Electric Shuttles Launch in Mountain View, Calif.

Four new all-electric community shuttle buses, funded by Google in a two-year pilot project, are on the road in Mountain View, Calif.

Known as the Mountain View Community Shuttles, the buses use modular electric powertrain technology from Motiv Power Systems. Motiv says the electric Powertrain Control System (ePCS) electrifies truck or bus chassis using a variety of commercially available battery packs and motors and is offered as a ship-through option.

The shuttles also feature a Ford E450 chassis and an Ameritrans 285 shuttle bus body.

The four electric vehicles are free to the public, and Mountain View city officials hope the service will reduce drive-alone traffic, as well as help residents get around town in a loop route.

Although Google supported the costs of the two-year pilot program, Motiv says the electrification of the shuttles was made possible through funding from the California Energy Commission (CEC). CEC grants allowed the bus and service dealer, ABC Cos., to purchase the batteries, as well as the electric powertrains, and provided Google zero-emission shuttles for the same cost as fossil-fuel counterparts.

‘We're happy to be working with Motiv and the City of Mountain View on the new electric community shuttles,’ says Meghan Casserly, a Google spokesperson. ‘We hope the shuttle system makes getting around a little easier – and greener – for all of our neighbors.’

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