The San José City Council has approved the purchase of 10 Proterra Catalyst E2 battery-electric transit buses and related charging infrastructure for use at the Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport (SJC).
Proterra’s E2 series 35-foot electric buses feature a 440 kWh battery pack with an estimated range of 251 miles. Proterra was bidding against BYD for the airport contract, and won the sale with a price of $759,824 per bus.
Proterra will design and build the buses at its Los Angeles County manufacturing facility. They are scheduled to go into service in late 2018.
SJC, which serves 12 million passengers annually, currently operates a fleet of CNG shuttle buses. Funded in part by a $3.8-million grant from the FAA, the new Proterra e-buses will replace the older CNG buses. Considering the greatly improved vehicle efficiency – 21 MPGe, compared to 5 MPG for the current CNG buses – and reduced maintenance costs, SJC expects to save some $4 million (and 3.1 million pounds of GHG emissions) during the 12-year lifetime of the buses.
“The addition of this all-electric bus fleet reflects SJC’s continued commitment to delivering a world-class passenger experience and advancing our community’s collective sustainability goals,” said San José Mayor Sam Liccardo. “These electric buses can help us significantly reduce costs and emissions, and represent a step towards our aspiration that an electric engine power every shuttle and bus on San Jose’s streets.”
“As the community synonymous with innovation, Silicon Valley is the breeding ground for technologies that continue to change the way we live, work and play,” said Proterra CEO Ryan Popple. “SJC’s pioneering vision to transition their fossil fuel fleet to a zero-emission fleet underscores the area’s spirit of innovation.”