News Flash

Summit County Government

Posted on: June 28, 2018

Summit Stage Trials Battery-Electric Bus

Battery Electric Proterra Bus

Local transit agency will test dual-drive model through June 30

Curtis Garner, Summit Stage Director, 970-668-4161

Proterra, one of the leading manufacturers of battery-electric buses in the United States has given the Summit Stage an opportunity to test their most powerful model. The bus went into service Wednesday morning and it will be used on a different route every day throughout the trial period. The goal is both to test the vehicle in a high-Alpine environment and to gather as much driver and passenger feedback as possible as the Summit Stage looks for opportunities to decrease carbon emissions and increase efficiency.

“One of our big questions is whether these buses have the range and power needed to operate in the mountains over the course of a long operating day,” says Curtis Garner, Transit Director. “This dual-drive unit is a bit different from the model the Town of Breckenridge tested earlier this year. It has two electric motors instead of one, and is also equipped with a larger battery array for longer range between charges.” This new test vehicle is touted to meet the goal of operating all day and recharging during the short window between 2:30am–5:30am when the buses are out of service.

In response to strong community support for local climate action, earlier this year the Summit County Commissioners adopted a goal to achieve 100% of its energy consumption from renewable sources by 2035. Toward that end, the County is working collaboratively with local utility providers, Xcel Energy and Mountain Parks Electric, to achieve this goal. Summit County has also joined the Compact of Colorado Communities to collaborate with other Colorado elected officials and community and business leaders across the state, working to advance clean energy development, emissions reduction, and climate preparedness throughout Colorado communities.

At the local level, there are a number of initiatives to transition to a low-carbon community that relies on the efficient use of renewable energy sources. This work is led by the Summit Climate Action Collaborative, a partnership with the local governments, businesses, ski areas, the school district, and other community partners.  

“Transitioning to cleaner public transit is a key component of the County’s renewable energy goals,” said County Commissioner Dan Gibbs. He added, “Besides the reduction in greenhouse gases, these buses are quiet and clean too, a big plus for our community.”  

Summit Stage has applied for a federal LONO grant (Low and No Emissions Vehicles) to help acquire an initial trial fleet of three electric buses, and if successful, begin a phased transition to eventual full electrification of Summit County’s transit fleet and other County fleet vehicles. Replacing large, diesel-powered buses with battery electric buses will reduce noise, vibration and emissions that adversely affect the rural, scenic, and environmental qualities that bring so many people to Summit County. Look for the battery-electric bus out in the community!

For more information, contact Curtis Garner, Summit Stage Director, 970-668-4161.


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