UC Davis Transit Agency Acquiring Xcelsior CHARGE Electric Buses


Unitrans, the University of California, Davis’ transit system, has purchased six Xcelsior CHARGE battery-electric, 40-foot heavy-duty transit buses from New Flyer of America Inc. through the California Department of General Services’ (DGS) contract.

New Flyer was selected by DGS as an approved supplier of electric vehicles in 2019. The DGS contract simplifies potential future bus procurement for California local government agencies for up to five years.

State contracts have been growing as a procurement channel for U.S. transit agencies due to their ability to streamline processes. NFI is currently an active supplier on over 20 U.S. state contracts and has received more than 600 vehicle awards from state contracts since 2018.

Unitrans operates in and around the UC Davis campus, providing mobility to more than 45,000 students and delivering over four million passenger trips per year. Unitrans has pursued alternative fuels for nearly a decade, a strategy accelerated by the California Air Resources Board’s adoption of the Innovative Clean Transit regulation in 2018, which mandates the state’s public transit agencies to transition to 100% zero-emission bus fleets by 2040.

The purchase is supported by Federal Transit Administration funds and begins conversion of the current Unitrans fleet, comprising compressed natural gas buses, to zero-emission as existing vehicles reach end of life.

Full electrification of the fleet – anticipated for completion in the early 2030s – is a joint venture between the campus and city.

“Having delivered 37 low-emission CNG buses to Unitrans since 2009, we now turn our focus to advancing UC Davis toward cleaner, more sustainable, and climate-friendly mobility,” says Chris Stoddart, president, North America bus and coach, for New Flyer parent company NFI. “Our Xcelsior CHARGE buses are meeting the increasing demand for sustainable transportation.”

NFI subsidiary Alexander Dennis Limited has also supported Unitrans’ evolution to zero-emission, with four low-emission ADL Enviro500 40-foot double deck buses delivered between 2010 and 2017.

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