The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA), which provides public transportation for Pinellas Country in Florida, announced the purchase of 60 electric buses over the next five years. The investment comes through the first all-electric bus consortium in Florida, which comprises four manufacturers.
The agency has yet to name all four manufacturers. However, pictures accompanying the recent release see an electric bus built by Gillig. The company on Facebook further claims it will deliver 24 of 60 e-buses before the year’s end.
PSTA confirmed, the initial order was worth 80 million dollars but expects each electric bus to save about $20,000 a year in diesel fuel costs.
There’s also data on charging since the agency installed chargers at four depots in June. The new fleet will utilise overnight charging, regenerative braking, and on-route charging stations. The battery range averages 200 miles or about 14 hours of operating time on a single charge, said PSTA.
So far, the agency has six electric buses in operation and expects the 60 new units to enter service subsequently. The order is part of a five-year plan running through 2024. In the long term, PSTA targets a “fully green fleet by 2050,” so the CEO Brad Miller. He also stressed the decision was helped by the Biden administration signing into law “the largest investment public transit has realised in US history.” The federal infrastructure package includes a trillion-dollar budget of which $7.5Bn were reserved for zero-emission buses.
The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority provides public transportation for Pinellas County and manages a bus system that encompasses over 40 bus routes.
Gillig launched its first electric bus in May 2019. The California-based company is the second-largest conventional bus manufacturer in North America after New Flyer. Gillig also announced last month it would rely on battery systems from Germany’s Akasol from 2023. These batteries will increase capacity by 32 per cent, so Gillig.
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