The San Diego Metropolitan System (MTS) has celebrated the start of construction on an overhead electric bus charging system in South Bay.

Upon completion, the 8.5 million USD overhead gantry charging system will be able to simultaneously charge 24 battery-electric buses, with the potential to add a greater charging capacity as MTS transitions to an all-electric fleet.

San Diego MTS Charging
Elected officials, SDG&E, and labor union representatives joined MTS at the Bus Operations Facility to recognise a new era in transit that will create a more sustainable future for San Diego

The Schunk SLS 301 series Depot Charging Pantograph provides an efficient hands-free method for charging electric vehicles. Buses can be docked in the depot in seconds and fully charged in a few hours.

Nathan Fletcher, MTS Board Chair, and Chair, San Diego County Board of Supervisors said;

Today, we are taking a leap forward for environmental justice, sustainability, and clean air. In order to stay on the forefront of technology, MTS looked at solutions to maximise our land use, and the overhead charging system not only is the most innovative technology yet, it provides the infrastructure necessary to keep buses in service and yard operations running effectively. It also brings us closer to achieving regional climate goals and a zero-emissions bus fleet by 2040.

Construction is expected to be completed by 2023 in time for the launch of MTS’s new Iris Rapid route, which will operate electric buses between Imperial Beach and Otay Mesa. MTS also plans to build similar overhead charging systems at its other bus facilities by 2028.

San Diego MTS Charging
The charging technology for zero-emission buses will be built at the MTS South Bay Bus Facility
San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) Vice President of Energy Innovation Miguel Romero, said:

Through our ‘Power Your Drive for Fleets’ programme, SDG&E is proud to support organisations like MTS as they transform their fleets to zero-emissions vehicles, and in the process, help create cleaner air and healthier communities. Public-private collaboration to accelerate the transition to clean vehicles of all types – from passenger car and buses to trucks and forklifts – is absolutely necessary to meeting our region’s climate goals.


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