Jackson, Wyoming’s Southern Teton Area Rapid Transit (START) and Proterra have unveiled the first battery-electric buses in the state. The buses are also the first of the Proterra ZX5 buses to be deployed in the U.S.
Introduced in September, the 40-foot Proterra ZX5 MAX has 660 kWh of onboard energy, in addition to its DuoPower drivetrain, and can deliver up to 329 miles of drive range. By combining the DuoPower drivetrain with Proterra’s battery technology, the ZX5 provides superior performance designed to tackle Jackson’s routes even during the coldest winters. The DuoPower can also propel a bus up a 25 percent grade, making it an ideal option for routes with steep hills.
START Bus is planning to put its eight new ZX5 buses into service in late November. The agency hosted Proterra representatives for a small ribbon-cutting ceremony on Nov. 12, but due to COVID-19, it was not a public event. The public, however, will be able to join a webinar hosted by Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities with Proterra representatives on Nov. 19, as they share specifics about the e-bus deployment in Teton County and the premiere of a video about the project.
“START Bus and the Town of Jackson are thrilled to add battery-electric buses to our fleet,” Darren Brugmann, the agency’s director, said. “These buses will provide cost effective, clean, efficient transportation, and help START reduce emissions to improve air quality. START is committed to transitioning 40 percent of its fleet to electric by 2022 and deploying these first eight buses is a major step toward that goal.”
To help lower the upfront cost of the buses and ensure funding to deploy all eight at once, START utilized Proterra’s battery lease program. The electric buses represent one-third of START’s total fleet.