As part of executive Dow Constantine’s Green-Fleet Initiative, King County Metro announces the new deployment at an event in which the transit agency outlined its carbon-neutral plan to launch a record-setting electric transit fleet by 2020.
With transportation representing nearly half of all greenhouse gas emissions in the King County region, Metro aims to influence the development and expansion of all-electric buses, by committing to replace its current fleet with zero-emission vehicles. The County’s Strategic Climate Action Plan calls for both increased transit service and a cleaner fleet to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Proterra’s new Catalyst technology will help Metro achieve these goals.
“To better serve our customers, we want battery buses that travel longer distances and can carry more people,” said King County Metro Transit General Manager Rob Gannon. “We’re committed to expanding our battery-electric bus fleet with standardized battery bus charging systems and high-performing vehicles.”
King County Metro will purchase up to 73 battery-electric buses from Proterra at a cost of up to $55 million, starting with 20 buses totaling $15.1 million. Charging stations to support the initial orders of those buses will range from $5.5 million to $6.6 million.
“King County Metro’s decision to purchase up to 73 Proterra battery-electric buses not only represents a significant milestone for mass transit in the U.S., but also a resounding victory for the clean transportation industry as a whole. Already a model for the new generation of sustainability-minded transit agencies, King County Metro continues to demonstrate its commitment to exceptional service, environmental action, and technological innovation,” said Ryan Popple, CEO of Proterra. “We look forward to supporting them as they deploy our industry-leading Catalyst buses across their expanding ridership base.”
Proterra’s composite bus body was envisioned, prototyped, tested and developed by veteran materials engineers with more than two decades of experience in the automotive industry. The unique, carbon-fiber-reinforced composite material maximizes vehicle life while minimizing repairs and maintenance. Unlike steel bus frames, which experience significant corrosion throughout their 12-year life-span, Proterra’s composite bus body is impact- and corrosion-resistant, prolonging its useful life by many years.
The Proterra bus body is also much lighter than its steel counterparts, enabling the catalyst to be the lightest-weight vehicle in its class. This minimizes the wear-and-tear of public roads and maximizes vehicle performance. A high power-to-weight ratio contributes to the best acceleration in the transit bus market—from zero to 20 mph in less than seven seconds.