Governor Ned Lamont, joined by officials from the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT), Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and Greater Bridgeport Transit (GBT), has unveiled the first two battery-electric buses entering public service in Connecticut.
The buses feature zero tailpipe emissions and will use 125 kWh electric bus chargers installed at the GBT bus maintenance facility. These are the first buses to enter service under CTDOT’s electric bus initiative. CTDOT is looking forward to a future where all transit vehicles are powered by electricity. This will be a gradual transition at first but will accelerate as the costs for battery-electric buses and facility upgrades become more affordable at scale. These programs will not only improve the customer experience but will improve air quality and noise levels for those who live in the communities served by these buses.
“This program illustrates our commitment not only to public transportation and the thousands of Connecticut citizens who rely on it every day, but also to the environment,” says Lamont. “This green technology will serve us for years to come with clean, safe, reliable service, which is the best way to get people out of their cars and onto buses and trains.”
The two 40-foot battery-electric buses and associated charging infrastructure will be deployed at GBT. Highlights of the buses include quiet operation, carbon-fiber-reinforced composite bodies and anticipated reduced operating costs due to approximately 30% fewer parts than an internal combustion engine.
CTDOT recently received a $6.7 million FTA grant to modernize its CTtransit Stamford bus maintenance facility. Other announcements are expected soon regarding the purchase of buses for the Stamford service area. CTDOT is also purchasing 12 electric buses for CTtransit Hartford and CTtransit New Haven service areas. The new electric buses will be introduced over the next 12-18 months.
The electric bus initiative is part of Connecticut’s commitment to economy-wide greenhouse gas reduction targets of 45% and 80% below 2001 levels by 2030 and 2050. In 2019, the Connecticut General Assembly committed to electrifying 50% of the state’s light-duty fleet purchases and 30% of the heavy-duty fleet purchases, including transit buses, by 2030.
In July, Connecticut joined with 14 states and the District of Columbia in a joint memorandum of understanding (MOU), committing to work collaboratively to advance and accelerate the market for electric medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, including large pickup trucks and vans, delivery trucks, box trucks, school and transit buses, and long-haul delivery trucks. The goal is to ensure that 100% of all new medium and heavy-duty vehicle sales be zero-emission vehicles by 2050 with an interim target of 30% zero-emission vehicle sales by 2030.
Photo: Governor Ned Lamont