San Jose Airport Welcomes Electric Bus Fleet Powered by Clean Energy

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On Friday, Sam Liccardo, mayor of San Jose, Calif., led the commissioning of Mineta San Jose International Airport’s (SJC) brand new fleet of 10 battery-electric buses.

The buses will transport passengers and their luggage between SJC’s parking lots, rental car center and terminals. Funded in part by a $5 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration, the electric buses replace a compressed natural gas bus fleet that had been operating at SJC since 2008.

“Today, we deployed the largest fleet of electric buses at any airport in the country as we continue to establish ourselves as a leader in combating climate change,” said Liccardo. “These electric buses can help us significantly reduce costs and greenhouse-gas emissions and represent a step toward our aspiration that an electric engine power every shuttle and bus on San Jose’s streets.”

The electric buses are powered by San Jose Clean Energy, a new electricity provider focused on carbon-free sources.

“SJC is continuing down a green path of enhancing the sustainability of airport operations, as the buses are powered by the city’s very own San José Clean Energy source,” says John Aitken, SJC’s director of aviation. “With room for 40 passengers and their luggage onboard, our travelers will enjoy a more comfortable journey between the parking lots and terminals while having the satisfaction their zero-emissions bus is contributing to cleaner air.”

The buses and charging systems were designed and manufactured locally by Proterra, based in Burlingame, Calif.

“We are so proud to see these beautiful California-made electric buses deployed here at San José Airport, running on clean electricity, which is generated locally,” comments Proterra’s CEO, Ryan Popple. “You can’t get this done without public- and private-sector innovators that are dedicated to improving their community with electric vehicle technology that has both economic and environmental benefits. We are so grateful to the City of San José and SJC for their leadership and commitment to clean, quiet transportation.”

Photo: Aries Liang [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

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