Yosemite National Park has now become the first national park in the US to add all-electric buses to its permanent shuttle fleet, following its order from the US-based electric bus supplier Proterra for two Catalyst buses.
Located in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, Yosemite National Park utilizes its bus fleet as a means of limiting car traffic from park visitors — visitors are encouraged to park and then utilize buses for travel between waterfalls, trail heads, and lodges/accommodations.
Electrifying these shuttle buses obviously represents an effective means of further reducing ambient air pollution and noise.
A press release on the matter provides more: “With more than 5 million visitors each year, Yosemite has seen its free shuttle service travel annually 436,000 miles with 3.8 million boardings. In 2001, the park began replacing its diesel bus fleet with diesel-electric hybrid vehicles. Yosemite is now taking the next steps toward a state-of-the-art clean transportation system with the adoption of Proterra zero-emission, battery-electric buses.”
The use of the new Proterra Catalyst electric buses is expected to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 887,000 lb a year. It’s also expected to save the park operators around $150,500 on maintenance and operating costs.
“Our mission has always been to preserve our nation’s natural and cultural heritage for future generations, and Proterra’s zero-emission vehicle technology will be indispensable as we continue to work toward this goal,” commented Chip Jenkins, acting superintendent, Yosemite National Park. “Since its establishment in 1890, airborne pollutants have steadily degraded Yosemite’s resources. Deploying Proterra’s battery-electric buses will help with this ongoing challenge and will greatly improve local air quality.”
The new Proterra Catalyst buses are slated to go into service at Yosemite National Park in late 2018. They will be operating year round.