Sustainability

Clemson Area Transit adds second fleet of Proterra battery-electric buses

Posted on September 7, 2017

In 2015, Seneca became the first city in the U.S. to operate an all-electric bus fleet and now serves as a model for other municipalities considering all-electric bus transit.
Proterra
In 2015, Seneca became the first city in the U.S. to operate an all-electric bus fleet and now serves as a model for other municipalities considering all-electric bus transit.
Proterra

Clemson Area Transit (CATbus) purchased 10 40-foot Proterra Catalyst® E2 buses and related charging infrastructure. The CATbus transit vehicles will be manufactured in Proterra’s East Coast Manufacturing Facility, located in nearby Greenville, S.C.

Serving 1.9 million riders annually in three Upstate South Carolina counties, including the cities of Clemson and Seneca and the towns of Central and Pendleton as well as four universities, the fare-free CATbus system will have the largest zero-emission fleet in the Carolinas.

“As part of our vision at CATbus, we are committed over the next eight years to expand upon projects that reduce energy consumption and increase access to clean, efficient mass transit. The integration of these 10 Proterra electric buses into our fleet is a big step in making this happen,” said Keith Moody, interim GM of CATbus. “With 50 percent of our fleet soon to be serviced by zero-emission, battery-electric buses, today marks an important milestone, and we’re pleased to further our partnership with Proterra, as the company helps CATbus achieve our transit goals towards a 100-percent electric fleet.”

CATbus purchased the Proterra Catalyst E2 buses in part with $3.9 million from the Federal Highway and Transit Administration’s (FTA) Low- or No-Emissions program. The Low-No program provided $55 million in bus-buying grants to municipalities in 2016, of which Clemson's grant was among the largest.

The 10-bus purchase complements the six Proterra buses already servicing Seneca, S.C. that are operated by CATbus. In 2015, Seneca became the first city in the U.S. to operate an all-electric bus fleet and now serves as a model for other municipalities considering all-electric bus transit. Over the past three years, CATbus has played host to transit leadership representing cities throughout North America and Europe who are looking to replicate the Seneca success in their cities.

“The FTA likes to see projects that are successful, and with the Seneca project, it's been a total success,” Moody said. “We are building success onto success.”

Since the fleet debuted, the Seneca Proterra buses have received 27,950 charges, traveled more than 520,000 miles, and eliminated over 2,848,600 pounds of greenhouse gases — equivalent to planting 59,348 trees.

“With Greenville as our home in South Carolina, we couldn’t be more pleased to expand our footprint in the Upstate region with CATbus,” said Ryan Popple, president/CEO of Proterra. “As a pioneering transit agency that adopted one of the first battery-electric fleets in North America, we look forward to continuing to equip CATbus communities with the cleanest and highest-performing buses on the road.”

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