Published July 9, 2012
Greenville-based Proterra signed an agreement with the city of Seneca to deliver four battery-powered, zero-emission transit buses and two charging stations.
Seneca received $4.1 million in federal transportation funding last year. The funding, along with additional public and private funding, was designated to buy five battery-powered buses.
“The city of Seneca will be the first in the nation to be a totally electric bus system,” said Mayor Dan Alexander following the November announcement.
The Clemson Area Transit, or CATbus, will operate the EcoRide buses on a fare-free basis. The buses will serve both the city and Clemson University students.
“We could not be more proud to be at the forefront of clean, emissions-free transit,” CATbus General Manager Al Babinicz said. “It is rare that a community of our size gets to play as important a role in advancing clean transit, and we hope to expand on our efforts by helping make the entire CATbus system emissions-free in the future.”
Seneca was one of 46 communities to receive $112 million in Transit Investments in Greenhouse Gas and Emissions Reduction grants from the Federal Transit Administration.
Seneca’s current diesel bus fleet averages less than 4 miles per gallon. Proterra EcoRide transit buses average 20 diesel-equivalent miles per gallon.
“Seneca realizes that zero-emission transit solutions not only have a positive effect on the environment, but also on their bottom line,” Proterra CEO David Bennett said.
Foothill Transit in Pomona, Calif., has been operating three EcoRide buses since September 2010. VIA Metropolitan Transit in San Antonio and StarMetro in Tallahassee, Fla. will receive their buses sometime this year.
Proterra is manufacturing these orders at its current assembly line plant in Greenville.
Proterra designs and manufactures heavy-duty electric drive systems, energy storage systems, vehicle control systems, transit buses and fast-charging stations. Proterra’s systems are scalable to commercial buses of all sizes. EcoRide buses charge in 10 minutes.