Tennessee Transportation Agency Deploying First All-Electric Shuttle Bus


Phoenix Motorcars has delivered an all-electric Z400 shuttle bus to the Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency (UCHRA) in partnership with Tennessee Technological University.

The project was headed by a team of dedicated faculty and graduate students led by Pingen Chen, Ph.D., associate professor of mechanical engineering at Tech.

“We are proud to have the very first electric shuttle bus anywhere outside of a major Tennessee city,” Chen says. “Working with UCHRA, we fought through a lot of challenges and, in the end, showed our persistence and resiliency in making it happen.”

UCHRA and Tennessee Tech plan to use the electric shuttle to provide on-campus transportation for Tech students, faculty and guests over the coming weeks before eventually transitioning the vehicle for use throughout Cookeville. The electric shuttle is projected to have a lower total cost of ownership, which includes not only the up-front purchase cost but also operational and maintenance costs.

The shuttle was built on a Ford E-450 chassis powered by a 125 kWh battery pack that offers up to a 130-mile range. It can be fully charged in approximately two to three hours with a 50 kW Level 3 charger.

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