It's the start of the line for battery electric public buses in Northern California.
With the help of an Energy Commission award, the San Joaquin Regional Transit District launched two electric buses into service in late May, marking the first time a Northern California transit district has had an electric bus in its fleet.
The Energy Commission played a crucial role setting the bus wheels in motion with a $2.56 million award from its Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, created by Assembly Bill (AB) 118. CALSTART, a nonprofit advanced transportation technologies consortium, administered the project. Busmaker Proterra provided around $1.8 million in matching funds, and the transit district provided roughly $280,000 for this $4.6 million, two-year demonstration project.
A launch event was held in Stockton to mark the debut of the buses, and Energy Commissioner Janea A. Scott gave the keynote address.
"The Commission's AB 118 program is helping regional transit districts all across the state to demonstrate that innovative vehicle technologies are viable now and ready for everyday use," Commissioner Scott said. "Speeding the transition to cleaner fleets that include buses, like the two electric buses we are celebrating in Stockton, can help California to meet our climate change and clean air goals."
The Proterra electric buses can operate throughout the entire daily schedule by recharging for 10 minutes every few hours.
They are part of the district's impressive efforts to reduce its fleet's greenhouse gas emissions. Except for the new Proterra vehicles, all of the buses in the district's Stockton yard are hybrid diesel-electric models. These vehicles reduce the district's fueling costs while reducing pollution to protect the environment and public health.
If you're in Stockton, hop on the 51 bus - the route on which the electric buses will first be running. They're easy to spot. Just look for the word "Electric" on the side.