During more than 15,000 miles of testing, the GILLIG battery-electric bus required only 15.2 repair hours of unscheduled maintenance.  -  Photo: GILLIG

During more than 15,000 miles of testing, the GILLIG battery-electric bus required only 15.2 repair hours of unscheduled maintenance.

Photo: GILLIG

Seattle’s King County Metro signed a five-year contract with GILLIG to purchase battery-electric buses to continue the agency’s transition to a zero-emission fleet.

Metro’s contract with GILLIG includes an initial $111 million order for 89 battery-electric buses. The contract is for the procurement of up to 500 vehicles.

The agency will have the option to purchase up to 395 buses through this contract, with the remaining coaches made available for purchase by other regional transit agencies.

Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grants of $61 million will support the purchase of the buses.

“As we continue our transition to a zero-emission future we are excited to partner with GILLIG,” said Metro GM Michelle Allison. “Our new buses will have an expanded range, which is vital in prioritizing reliable service so that riders choose to ride our system and leave their cars at home. This purchase will benefit the region in reducing greenhouse gasses now and over the next generation.”

GILLIG’s BEBs

The GILLIG buses purchased will have a 686kWh (kilowatt-hour) battery capacity, which increases the zero-emission service range Metro is able to provide.

GILLIG also received the highest-ever score for a battery-electric bus from the FTA’s Bus Test Program. During more than 15,000 miles of testing, the GILLIG battery-electric bus required only 15.2 repair hours of unscheduled maintenance. Comparatively, other battery electric buses tested over the last seven years have each needed, on average, 72.3 hours of repair time to complete their testing.

The vehicles will join the current fleet of 51 battery-electric buses already in service. They will also be the first buses to have Metro’s new livery colors, which will be a mix of electric yellow and seafoam blue.

Infrastructure Preparation for BEBs

Earlier this month, Metro celebrated the groundbreaking of Interim Base, where these new buses will be maintained and charged.

Tukwila was intentionally chosen as the location for Interim Base — and for the South Base Test Facility that preceded it — so that the next-generation clean air buses would serve communities in south King County, where air pollution is currently higher than elsewhere in the region.

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