Zero-Emission Buses in Service at Walnut Creek

Source: BAE Systems, Mass Transit

On November 5, 2016, Central Contra Costa Transit Authority, which provides transportation service to Walnut Creek, California, introduced its all-electric buses to the community with a ribbon cutting event. The city received four buses powered by BAE Systems’ electric propulsion and accessory systems, introducing the first zero-emission transit solution for the area.

The all-electric buses were secured through funding from a Federal Transit Administration 2012 Clean Fuels grant as well as local matching funds. Together with bus manufacturer Gillig, BAE Systems was able to develop and deliver a highly capable and reliable all-electric bus to the community. Their solution, Series-EV, uses the same components as our high-performance Series-E hybrid-electric system, which powers thousands of buses all around the world.

“The primary difference between our traditional hybrid-electric system and the battery-electric system is the elimination of the internal combustion engine and the addition of larger batteries, which store more energy and provide the desired range. Like traditional hybrid buses that use our system, the electric bus takes advantage of regenerative braking and electric accessories, making the bus even more efficient,” said Bob Devine, director for Advanced Applications at BAE Systems’ Power & Propulsion Solutions business area.

In this case, the electric buses shuttle passengers between the downtown area and the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station. A wireless charger system at the BART station charges up the buses’ batteries during the layover, while passengers disembark and board. The bus then travels back to the downtown area, completing a full route loop. At night, the bus travels approximately nine miles back to the depot where it can be plugged in and fully charged overnight to be ready for the next day.

Rick Ramacier, general manager for County Connection transit agency noted, “Our circulator route to the BART Station is a great route to run these new electric buses on, because it sees lots of passengers and the distance fits the electric bus range.”

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