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Raleigh-Durham Airport purchases four electric transit buses

Heavy-duty electric transportation provider Proterra has been contracted to supply four zero-emission electric buses and related charging infrastructure to Raleigh-Durham Airport in North Carolina.

The Proterra Catalyst E2 buses will transit more than 100,000 passengers per month between the airport’s two ParkRDU Economy parking lots and the terminals. Funded in part by a US$1.6m zero-emissions vehicle grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the new Proterra battery-electric buses will replace four older diesel buses, resulting in the elimination of 16,900,000 lb of greenhouse gases over the lifetime of the vehicles.

Michael Landguth, president and CEO of Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority, the airport operator, said, “The purchase of these four buses demonstrates our commitment to a world-class airport experience. We are excited about both the sustainable benefits as well as the improved passenger experience these new buses will provide.”

The operational cost of electricity, at US$0.19 per mile, is substantially lower than diesel, at US$0.84 per mile. Combine this with the improved vehicle efficiency, at 21mpg equivalent, and reduced vehicle maintenance costs, and the authority stands to save approximately US$1.8m during the 12-year lifetime of the buses. Scheduled to be placed in service in early 2019, the Proterra buses will be designed and built in Greenville, South Carolina.

Ryan Popple, CEO of Proterra, said, “Bringing zero-emission buses to airports throughout North America is an integral part of Proterra’s next stage of growth, and we couldn’t be happier to announce Raleigh-Durham as our first airport customer.

“The Raleigh-Durham region is home to one of the nation’s largest and most successful research parks, a major center for high-tech and biotech research, and world-class universities. The airport’s vision to transition from dirty diesel to a zero-emission fleet further fuels the area’s spirit of innovation.”

Written by Daniel Symonds

August 18, 2017


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