Idaho Fleet Orders Electric Transit Buses

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Valley Regional Transit (VRT) in Idaho has agreed to purchase eight Proterra Catalyst 35-foot E2 buses and eight 125 kW plug-in charging systems.

VRT, Proterra’s first customer in Idaho, is also the first transit agency in Idaho to bring electric buses to its community, says Proterra. Proterra vehicles are now in 42 U.S. states and Canadian provinces.

VRT received funding for the new electric buses through the Federal Transit Administration’s Low or No Emission Program. With the purchase of eight buses and charging systems, VRT will transition about one-fourth of its fleet to battery electric buses.

VRT manages contracts for the operation of ValleyRide bus services and ACCESS paratransit service. ValleyRide bus services consist of 18 fixed-line routes in Boise/Garden City, three fixed-line routes in Nampa/Caldwell, and four intercounty routes between Ada County and Canyon County. The new Proterra electric buses will replace aging diesel and compressed natural gas buses.

“Valley Regional Transit is dedicated to delivering exceptional service to its citizens and supporting livable, healthy and sustainable communities,” says Kelli Badesheim, executive director of VRT. “Electric buses help us meet these goals. Battery electric buses are better for the environment and offer a better rider experience for our community, and we’re excited to be working with Proterra to bring the first electric buses to Idaho.”

VRT will lease the bus batteries through Proterra. As a result of the battery lease, the initial capital cost for the electric bus will be similar to that of a diesel or natural gas bus, and VRT will be able to use operating funds previously earmarked for fuel to pay for the battery lease. Additionally, under the lease, Proterra will provide 12 years of warranty for battery performance and capacity. The performance warranty also includes a requirement for Proterra to install new batteries on the buses at mid-life.

“By lowering the upfront costs of electric buses to be competitively priced against diesel, battery leasing removes one of the biggest barriers to adoption and empowers transit agencies to adopt and deploy larger EV fleets,” says Proterra’s CEO, Ryan Popple.

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