Bringing California closer to its goal to transition all public transit agencies to 100%t zero-emission bus fleets by 2040, AMPLY Power is managing the charging of electric buses for SolTrans, a public transportation provider for south Solano County, Calif. Unique to this application, AMPLY is operating its cloud-based software in conjunction with the fueling of SolTrans buses that run on CNG.
Soltrans' operations and maintenance facility is now optimized for energy use and demand charge avoidance through AMPLY’s hardware-agnostic software solution and operational processes.
At SolTrans' Facility, AMPLY Power installed a cloud-based smart charging system that monitors the charging status and power levels in real-time, deploying algorithms to minimize utility demand and time-of-use rate charges. The company’s cloud-based system keeps utility costs down by optimizing EV charging and other energy use in the depot’s operations. When the CNG compressors turn on, AMPLY Power immediately reduces or suspends the EV charging stations to ensure that the 15-minute power will not increase electricity demand costs. This is believed to be a first for managing total fuel costs across vehicle types.
Recently, SolTrans announced it would increase its service to riders as the state reopens from the shelter-in-place orders brought on by the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. As the transit agency continues to expand its electric bus fleets towards the 2040 statewide goal, it hopes to do its part in making air pollution reduction enjoyed by some communities in the past few months more permanent.
Currently, the transit agency’s fleet consists of 44% non-diesel vehicles; Bay Area Air Quality Management District funded two of the four battery-electric buses, one CNG bus, and 21 diesel-hybrid buses. In addition, it is running two CNG paratransit vehicles, and 16 in its SolanoExpress fleet. SolTrans has four charging stations at its operations and maintenance facility. SolTrans' ridership for the most recent data available was just over 1.4 million one way rides a year.