August 12, 2013

First U.S. electric paratransit vehicle deployed to Pa. fleet

The first of two all-electric paratransit buses, the first to be deployed in the U.S., were delivered to Pennsylvania-based Berks Area Regional Transportation Authority (BARTA).

The vehicles, manufactured by AMP Electric Vehicles, will first be delivered to Momentum Dynamics of Malvern, Pa. for final adjustments to the wireless charging system. The all-electric Ford E-450-based bus will be deployed in paratransit service by BARTA later this summer.

BARTA is the first major transportation authority in Pennsylvania to deploy fully electric vehicles, and the first in the U.S. to deploy electric paratransit vehicles, according to AMP Electric Vehicles.

AMP's battery electric powertrain and Momentum Dynamic's wireless charging system replace the 6.8 liter, V10 gasoline-powered engine original equipment package in the 2013 Ford E450 bus.

The BARTA bus has 100 KwH battery-pack and an expected range of up to 100 miles on a full charge with seating for eight passengers and a wheelchair. The vehicle has a wheelchair lift and is air-conditioned.

Equipped with Momentum Dynamics wireless system, charging the batteries is accomplished by parking it over the charging pad and electricity is safely and quickly passed from the charging pad to the vehicle's battery management system. Onboard software manages the connection between the charging pad and the vehicle.

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