60 new electric buses inaugurated in NYC

The order was placed two years ago and manufacturer New Flyer has now delivered: The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in New York is delighted to have 60 new electric buses, which have now been inaugurated by Governor Kathy Hochul.

Image: Marc A. Hermann / MTA

As reported, the 60 new Xcelsior Charge NG buses are around 12 metres long and have a battery capacity of 525 kWh. They are to be used on routes in Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn. To ensure that New Flyer’s electric buses can regularly recharge their batteries, 17 new bus charging stations have also been installed at the Grand Avenue Bus Depot in Queens, with more charging stations to follow soon. The electric buses are subsidised with almost 70 million dollars in funding from the Federal Transit Administration. They support the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 85 per cent by 2050 and the MTA’s goal of operating a 100 per cent zero-emission bus fleet by 2040.

The 525 kWh battery capacity is the largest possible battery configuration. According to the manufacturer’s website, storage capacities of between 160 and 525 kWh are possible. The 40-foot version ordered offers 39 seats and space for people with reduced mobility. In addition, the electric drive system should make it possible to recover up to 90 per cent of the energy when braking.

“These new electric buses will play a key role in ensuring New Yorkers can get to where they’re going safely and sustainably,” Governor Hochul said. “Zero-emission buses are becoming the hallmark of our transit systems, demonstrating the importance of building healthy, environmentally friendly cities.”

MTA Chairman and CEO, Janno Lieber, said: “Every mile on these buses is a mile run less on fossil fuels—a victory every day for sustainability,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “As the largest public bus system in North America, we are leading the way to a greener future, revolutionizing public transportation, one electric bus at a time.”

“The New York Power Authority and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority are making significant progress in building out infrastructure to support the electrification of the nation’s largest bus fleet,” said New York Power Authority President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll. “An influx of 60 new buses and a rapidly increasing number of chargers will set New York City on a firm path to a clean transportation system that will have zero-emission buses traveling through every New York City borough by 2026.” 

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is working closely with the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to build the infrastructure needed to operate a zero-emission bus fleet. The power authority recently completed the installation of 17 pantograph fast-charging systems. The buses will park under the charging bonnets at the Grand Avenue Bus Depot and Central Maintenance Facility in Queens. Another 46 charging stations are under construction at the Herkimer car park in East New York in Brooklyn and at the Charleston facility in Staten Island. These charging stations should be completed by the end of the year. An on-street pantograph for buses that need to recharge their batteries between daily journeys is almost complete under the Williamsburg Bridge Plaza in Brooklyn.

The second phase of the $188 million work will bring 220 additional pantograph charging systems to Grand Avenue and four other depots in Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn. In addition, several depots need to be upgraded in terms of power distribution in co-operation with Consolidated Edison. The contract provides for the use of several charger manufacturers, a sophisticated charging management system to balance the electrical loads and a long-term service contract.

Following this current delivery of 60 electric buses, the MTA is expected to take delivery of the next batch of 205 electric buses recently ordered from New Flyer at the end of 2025. The authorities are also negotiating an option for a further 265 battery-powered electric buses to be deployed at six depots from 2027.


Author: Florian Treiß


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