With the help of a CALSTART grant that was directed to Washington state by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), Richland, Wash.-based Ben Franklin Transit (BFT)is working with Southern California-based Complete Coach Works (CCW) to develop an all-electric remanufactured transit bus that has the capability of going more than 100 miles.
While an electric bus is innovative in itself, CCW is taking it one step further by significantly reducing the carbon footprint involved with building a transit bus by remanufacturing an existing bus into like-new condition, reducing capital expenditures in the process. Not only are carbon emissions reduced through this approach, but landfill pollution is reduced as well.
When Ben Franklin Transit heard about this environmentally sustainable approach and what CCW was doing, the agency became part of a demonstration program and committed one of its buses.
“This is great news for Tri-Cities residents and businesses,” said Sen. Murray. “As Chair of the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, I was proud to help direct this funding to Washington state, and pleased that the bus will be operating soon in the Tri-Cities. I applaud the entire Ben Franklin Transit team for their work and I look forward to seeing the bus on Tri-City streets in the new year.”
Ben Franklin Transit’s bus, when completed, will have all electrical components, auxiliary wiring, seats, air conditioning systems and flooring replaced with high quality new parts. The all-electric drive system, motor, controller and advanced Li-ion battery packs will be installed, as will a new, energy efficient air conditioning system.
The remanufacturing process is so detailed and complete that the bus will be issued a new title and current year registration. Because CCW made a point to source as many U.S. parts and components as possible, the bus is “Buy America” compliant.
Ben Franklin Transit, in collaboration with CCW, evaluated the bus route that will benefit the most from the deployment of the electric transit bus. Ben Franklin Transit Route 23/26 is currently a good fit for this all-electric transit bus. Because of frequent stops within a total eight-mile loop and low average speed, the route provides ideal conditions for the regenerative braking-enabled ZEPS bus.