With a focus on its mission of sustainability for its residents, Porterville, Calif., says it is putting 12 zero-emission micro-transit vans into service.
The city’s new all-electric passenger vans will be used for transporting residents around the community, such as from home to work – and for shopping and other services. The electric vans will replace transit buses on routes with low ridership, allowing residents to use an app to get on-demand, curb-to-curb service.
“We look forward to serving our residents with quiet, zero-emission passenger vans,” says Richard Tree, transit administrator of Porterville. “Air quality is top of mind in Porterville and throughout California. Our choice of battery-electric vehicles aligns with our mission of improving air quality and reducing our carbon footprint while lowering costs at the same time.”
The 12 vehicles, all Class 3 Lightning Electric Transit Vans, were developed by Lightning eMotors, a Denver-based manufacturer of commercial electric vehicles for fleets. The vans are built on Ford Transit 350 HD chassis and are upfitted by NorCal Vans/Driverge of Chico, Calif., to meet ADA requirements with support for wheelchair lifts and other customizations.
Porterville configured their zero-emission Lightning Electric Transit Van with seats for seven passengers and a wheelchair securement area. They have 86 kWh of battery capacity with a range of 120 miles. The vans can be charged in just over an hour by a 50 kW DC fast charger.
Fully owned by Porterville, the new vans were partially funded with special funding from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Hybrid and Zero Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP). The voucher program reduces the upfront cost of advanced zero-emission fleet vehicles and requires manufacturers to have CARB and HVIP certification to participate.
Porterville offers its on-demand curb-to-curb, ride-hailing service for only $3 to its residents. The new electric vans will be a part of that service beginning in May.