Chicago Transit Authority To Buy 20–30 Electric Buses Over Next Few Years

Following the recent and positive completion of an electric bus trial program, the Chicago Transit Authority has committed to purchasing a fleet of 20 to 30 electric buses over the next few years, according to recent reports.

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) first took delivery of electric buses — two of them — back in October 2014 for the aforementioned testing process. Things seem to have gone well enough — with no significant mechanical issues being reported since then — that the authority has decided to slowly transition to the new modality.

CTA buses EV

The two buses that have been in service since 2014 are 40-foot models from New Flyer Industries — each outfitted with 300-kilowatt-hour (kWh) lithium-ion battery packs, allowing for a range of around 80 miles per full-charge.

Green Car Reports provides more:

The pair have already carried around 100,000 passengers on 13 routes — racking up 25,000 in-service miles. The buses’ battery packs are intended to last their entire service lives — meaning about 12 years.

Officials claim the emissions reductions from operating the two buses is the equivalent of removing 14 internal-combustion cars from the road, and adds up to $39,000 in health-benefit savings. In an “average year of use,” the CTA expects each bus to save $25,000 in fuel, and $55,000 in public-health costs. The agency will issue a request for proposals later this year, for both additional 40-foot electric buses and charging stations that will be placed along their routes.

The newly announced fleet purchase is expected to run $30 to $40 million, with federal funding support contributing to some degree. The CTA will reportedly still operate diesel-electric hybrids for some time — and some diesel buses will be outfitted with particulate filters, it should be noted.

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