"Electric buses provide our passengers with a quieter, smoother ride, raising the bar for transit in the central Indiana region" says Mike Terry, president/CEO of IndyGo. "We will have 21 electric buses by the end of 2015, the largest electric bus fleet in the country."
The electric buses, funded by a 2013 competitive federal TIGER grant, are remanufactured and rely on a zero-emissions drive system. Since the rollout of the buses in early June, performance has exceeded 130 miles on a single four-hour charge of the 12 Lithium-Ion batteries. The highly efficient, environmentally-friendly vehicles feature lightweight flooring and seats, low resistance tires and energy-efficient heating and cooling.
"Standard diesel buses cost approximately 65 cents per mile in fuel" said Vicki Learn, director, maintenance, at IndyGo. "The new all-electric buses cost IndyGo about 15 cents per mile driven, resulting in a bus that is four times more efficient than a traditional diesel bus."
In addition to the electric buses, IndyGo is currently installing a one megawatt solar panel system on its garage roof, thanks to a $3 million State of Good Repair Grant. Once installed, the solar panels will help offset the cost to charge the electric buses, further reducing operating cost.