Oregon’s TriMet Welcomes Its 1st Xcelsior CHARGE Electric Bus, Which Will Run On Clean Renewable Energy

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Electric bus announcements seem to pop up almost daily now. The latest one is from Oregon.

New Flyer of America (New Flyer), which is a subsidiary of NFI Group, North America’s largest bus manufacturer, has delivered a zero-emission battery-electric Xcelsior CHARGE bus to the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet).

Indicating just how slowly the bus industry can move, TriMet placed the order for 5 of New Flyer’s 40-foot Xcelsior CHARGE buses back in September 2017. TriMet and Portland General Electric (PGE) also acquired 6 ABB chargers and for the buses.

The joint project received $3.4 million from the Federal Transit Administration’s 2016 Low and No Emission (Low-No) Vehicle Deployment Program, part of the impetus for the trial.

TriMet is now using this first electric bus in the Portland, Oregon metro area — on the 13-mile Line 62–Murray Blvd. route.

You may be wondering now, “hey, I thought they were getting 5 buses.” Indeed, the other 4 Xcelsior CHARGE buses are scheduled to arrive this summer for a fully electric bus route. If you’re familiar with the area, this is what the company press release has to say about the details of the coming route: “The buses will operate between the Sunset Transit Center and Washington Square Transit Center, with depot chargers installed at TriMet’s Merlo Operating Facility and one on-route charger installed at the Sunset Transit Center to rapidly recharge batteries each round trip.”

The electric buses will benefit from regional wind power to provide zero-emissions transport from electricity generation to movement of the buses themselves.

“Transit inherently plays an important role in reducing emissions and easing congestion,” said Doug Kelsey, General Manager, TriMet. “Now, as our first all-electric bus rolls into service powered by the wind, we are furthering our commitment to the environment and are at the forefront of a cleaner future, both for TriMet and the Portland, Oregon region.”

If you’re in the right portions of the Portland area, be sure to check out the electric buses and remind everyone you talk to of their health and climate benefits.

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Zachary Shahan

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