Phoenix Motorcars announced its recent delivery of an all-electric, zero-emission Z400 shuttle bus to UCHRA in partnership with Tennessee Technological University, according to the company's news release.
The shuttle was built on a Ford E-450 chassis powered by Phoenix Motorcars and will serve the campus.
The electric vehicle was funded in part by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Vehicle Technologies Office. It is owned by Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency (UCHRA).
The project was headed by a team of dedicated faculty and graduate students led by Pingen Chen, Ph.D., associate professor of mechanical engineering at Tech.
“We are proud to have the very first electric shuttle bus anywhere outside of a major Tennessee city. Working with UCHRA, we fought through a lot of challenges and, in the end, showed our persistence and resiliency in making it happen,” said Chen.
UCHRA and Tennessee Tech plan to use the electric shuttle for a variety of uses, including providing on-campus transportation for Tech students, faculty, and guests over the coming weeks before eventually transitioning the vehicle for use throughout Cookeville.
Chen and UCHRA said that, in addition to being more environmentally friendly, riders can expect a quieter travel experience on the electric shuttle bus compared to gas-powered vehicles.
The electric shuttle is also projected to have a lower total cost of ownership, which includes not only the up-front purchase cost but also operational and maintenance costs.
The Phoenix Z400 shuttle is equipped with a 125-kWh battery pack offering up to the 130-mile range and can be fully charged in approximately two to three hours with a 50-kW Level III charger. The Z400 shuttles, as compared to its equivalent fossil-fueled alternatives, will reduce atmospheric emissions by approximately 61 tons per vehicle annually, reduce maintenance costs by 75%, and fuel costs by 80%.
“Phoenix Motorcars is thrilled to have partnered with Tennessee Tech, UCHRA, Creative Bus Sales, and TDOT to bring the first all-electric zero emission shuttle bus to rural Tennessee. We are so very excited to be a part of this project and bring our zero-emission technology to life in such a beautiful part of the country. We hope this collaboration sparks a new trend for green transportation in Tennessee and look forward to continuing our support of this project and our partners," said Thomas Allen, VP of Sales at Phoenix Motorcars.