The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) and the University of Utah will use $5.4 million that they scored in the latest round of Low-No grants from the Federal Transit Administration to purchase five New Flyer battery-electric buses. The e-buses will serve Salt Lake City and the University of Utah campus.
New Flyer’s electric bus is based on its Xcelsior platform, which also comes in diesel, CNG, hybrid and fuel cell variants. It features a 300 kWh NMC Li-ion battery pack and a 160 kW Siemens electric drive system. It also has an electrically powered air compressor and air conditioning compressor, and a Vanner 24-volt DC/DC converter that powers steering, interior fans, lights and other accessories.
The bus has an electric heating system for moderately cold temperatures, and an optional bio-diesel-powered heater that can be used in very cold conditions to maintain range.
UTA already operates 32 hybrid buses and 47 CNG buses, which together represent 13% of its fleet.
The new e-buses could go into service as early as 2018. Each is expected to save the equivalent of 6,000 gallons of diesel fuel per year.
“We are happy to be able to put these electric buses into service right through the center of Salt Lake City, where the air pollution sometimes gets trapped and where so many people work, live and play,” said UTA Chief Planning Officer Matt Sibul.