San Francisco Airport goes for Proterra electric buses

San Francisco Internation (SFO) has purchased six Proterra Catalyst E2 electric buses. The buses will be part of the airport’s fleet that currently shuttles passengers between the terminals, long-term parking garages and other airport locations along daily routes.

The new battery-electric bus fleet will support San Francisco’s airport goal of carbon neutrality by 2021, which refers to their ground transport naturally. The new battery-electric Proterra Catalyst buses will replace six diesel buses, and SFO expects to purchase additional battery-electric buses to replace its CNG vehicles.

The new electric buses will integrate batteries that are designed and manufactured down the street from the airport at Proterra’s Silicon Valley headquarters in Burlingame, California. With 440 kWh of battery capacity on board, the buses will join fleet currently providing buses to shuttle passengers between SFO terminals, long-term parking garages and other airport locations along daily routes. Part of the package is three 60 kW Proterra charging stations.

SFO will be joining Brussels Airport in electrifying their ground transportation this year. Amsterdams Schiphol Airport has been using electric buses since 2015. Outside Europe, airport operations in Sydney, Kansas, Los Angeles and Shenzhen to name but a few have already integrated electric buses into their services.

Proterra recently caught our ear as the US manufacturer has teamed up with Mitsui & Co. of Japan to create a new credit facility. The scheme helps to offset the battery price of electric buses for transit operators, and Proterra says, its electric bus thus has “roughly the same price as a diesel bus”. Partaking public transport companies buy the bus separately. This also helps budgeting the battery cost, well lease, that then runs under operating cost, just as diesel fuel would. Needless to say, the contract includes a 12-year warranty and maintenance as well (we reported).

Additional reporting by Nora Manthey.


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