(San Bernardino, CA) Omnitrans introduced its first four 100 percent electric-powered buses into service last week, marking the start of a new era for a transit agency that has consistently focused on environmental sustainability.
“Since we introduced the nation’s first hybrid-electric transit bus in 2002, Omnitrans has prioritized enhancing air quality in our region,” said CEO/General Manager Erin Rogers. “Operating our first zero-emissions vehicles is an exciting step toward meeting our state’s clean air goals.”
The agency’s fleet of buses has operated on compressed natural gas for more than a decade, which produce .2 grams of ozone-producing nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx) per brake horsepower hour (bhp). Currently, more than 50 percent of the fleet operate even cleaner near-zero emission engines, which produce .02 grams of NOx per bph – less than the average passenger vehicle! Omnitrans’ new electric buses, of course, produce 0 grams of NOx per bph.
The new zero-emissions buses are being utilized throughout Omnitrans’ service area and have a range of approximately 150 miles; each takes about four hours to charge at one of Omnitrans’ two transit facilities. Purchase of the buses, which cost $1.1 million each, was funded in part by Volkswagon Environmental Mitigation Trust and Carl Moyer Program grants. By 2040, the agency’s entire 174-bus fleet will be transitioned to zero-emissions buses to comply with California Air Resources Board regulations.