Complete Coach Works (CCW) is providing TransIT Services of Frederick County, Md., with five buses that have been completely refurbished and equipped with CCW’s Zero Emission Propulsion System (ZEPS), an all-electric battery-powered motor.
The first electric bus is expected to be delivered in February with the other four following closely behind in the proceeding months.
Jay Raber, the project manager for CCW, said the buses represent a significant milestone in a developing industry.
“This is the largest purchase of electric buses in the Northeast area by a transit property,” Raber said.
He credited Nancy Norris, Director of TransIT Services, for driving the purchase and marshaling funding for the contract.
“Nancy worked for two years to get the funding for this,” Raber said. “Frederick is a little community outside of Washington, D.C., and this is a huge project for them. It’s exciting because they got the funding and the approval to get this done before D.C. did. It means a whole lot to them.”
Norris said she first saw a CCW ZEPS bus at an event put on by the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority. Raber subsequently brought the bus to her agency’s offices so her fleet managers and mechanics could inspect it. “That was extremely helpful,” Norris said.
“The cost of the five ZEPS buses and charging stations is being covered by a combination of federal (FTA), state (MTA) and local grant funding, Norris said. A Maryland Energy Administration grant is providing the local match for one bus and also helping with the cost of installing 10 charging stations at the transit agency’s yard. As an indication of TransIT’s commitment to the ZEPS-powered buses, the construction project will include laying conduit for future construction of 10 more charging stations.
“In addition, TransIT has a contract with CCW to purchase up to four more ZEPS buses a year over the next four years,” Norris said.
“Each of the ZEPS buses is expected to save the agency $464,000 in maintenance and fuel costs over its 12-year lifespan,” Norris said. “For five buses, the savings equates to over $2.3 million dollars over the lifetime of the buses.”
CCW was Norris’ first choice because the company rebuilds older buses and keeps them “out of the landfill,” she said. “And the cost is about 40 percent less than the cost of new buses. If you can recycle something, repurpose it and save money, why not?”