The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has announced that the first of three battery electric buses is now in revenue service as part of a pilot programme to implement battery electric buses across San Francisco.

SFMTA initially ordered nine battery-electric buses for an 18-month trial, choosing three from each of New Flyer, BYD and Proterra. As the programme developed, Nova Bus was added as a fourth manufacturer to deliver three additional electric buses for testing. Five electric buses have currently arrived in the city, and the additional seven will be delivered by the end of 2022.

SFMTA Battery Electric Bus
New Battery Electric Bus 5001 Testing on 22 Fillmore Route
Mayor of San Francisco, London Breed, said:

San Francisco will continue to find ways to make our transportation fleet greener and cleaner, while still providing reliable service across our entire City. Electrifying our transit sector is an essential part of our Climate Action Plan goals of getting to net-zero emissions by 2040.

The electric buses have been tested on some of SFMTA’s most challenging routes and will now start operating for the 9 San Bruno, 22 Fillmore, 29 Sunset, and 44 O’Shaughnessy services. The buses will run on the on the same line each day to gather data on how they perform in active revenue service along the city’s geographic terrain.

Jeff Tumlin, SFMTA Director of Transportation, said:

Muni already has the greenest fleet in North America, especially our trolleybuses that pull power direct from Hetch Hetchy into their powerful, hill-climbing engines. This pilot will test to see how battery-electric buses perform relative to our hybrids, and how we should invest to meet SFMTA goals under the City’s Climate Action Plan.

To enable a successful launch, the SFMTA has also been working with PG&E to update all necessary charging infrastructure to power the new electric buses. The charging stations are powered by Hetch Hetchy Power and can fully charge a battery electric bus in approximately four hours.

Nine out of the 12 charging stations are currently complete, and the three remaining chargers are due to be delivered in spring 2022.


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