Miami-Dade is taking a big first step into the electrified future with the purchase of 33 fully electric buses from Proterra. The agreement represents the largest purchase of electric buses to date on the east coast of the United States.
Each of the 40-foot long Proterra Catalyst E2 buses will hit the streets with five times the available horsepower and five times greater fuel efficiency than the diesel buses they will replace, and with zero tailpipe emissions. Each electric bus eliminates approximately 230,000 pounds of CO2 emissions annually for every diesel vehicle replaced. It’s an impressive combination that makes the emissions reduction almost an afterthought as the financial benefits to the transit authority and the air quality improvements to the local community take center stage in the deal.
But for Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giménez, climate change is one of the pressing reasons to convert its fleet to fully electric.
“Florida is one of the most vulnerable areas in the country to climate change, and Miami is working tirelessly to lower its greenhouse gas emissions. Deploying battery-electric buses is one of the best actions we can take to improve our environment and our community’s public health. We are looking forward to working with Proterra to deliver clean, quiet transportation to Miami-Dade.”
Miami is already being hit hard with the early effects of climate change, with rising sea levels transforming king tides into swelling floods that have forced the city to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to raise the levels of streets and critical infrastructure. The measures only serve as a temporary measure to mitigate near-term effects of rising tides, with the very existence of the city itself being threatened with as little as 18 inches of sea level rise.
In a push to lead from the front, Miami has not only stepped up its mitigation efforts, but its commitments to reduce fossil fuel consumption with at least 50% of the county’s buses being electrically powered by 2035. Electrifying fleets directly offsets the tailpipe emissions of the existing diesel buses and sends a powerful message to the city that electric vehicles are increasingly affordable, clean, and perhaps most importantly, normal.
“Miami-Dade has shown exemplary leadership, embracing proven EV technology and planning for a scalable electric fleet implementation,” said Proterra CEO Ryan Popple. “Proterra’s expertise in vehicle design, battery technology, charging systems and infrastructure installation best positions us to support Miami-Dade’s transition to zero-emission transit vehicles.”
Miami-Dade also contracted with Proterra to install up to 75 new chargers to support the first 33 vehicles as well as the future expansion of the electric fleet. Charging is one of the oft overlooked pieces of the fleet electrification process and planning and building for the future from day one is a great first step in nailing down a robust charging solution for Miami-Dade.
The new chargers will be equipped with the standard J1772-CCS adapters that will allow them to serve both Proterra’s buses as well as many other electric vehicles that are planned for the future. Proterra’s chargers also bring vehicle-to-grid capability to the table, allowing for the potential expansion of the fleet into grid services or disaster recovery services in the future.