San Jose International Airport (SJC), California, has selected heavy-duty electric transportation company Proterra to supply 10 of its battery-electric transit buses and the related charging infrastructure.
The Proterra Catalyst E2 vehicles were chosen for their sustainability, performance and operational cost-saving abilities. The purchase marks Proterra’s first airport electric bus deployment in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is set to be delivered and put into service in late 2018.
John Aitken, director of aviation at San Jose City Council, which was involved in the decision, said, “This purchase builds upon initiatives SJC has put in place to address the concerns and interests of the community and the environment. These include recycling and composting programs supporting a zero-waste commitment by 2022, a 1MW, 3.4-acre solar array powering the airport’s rental car garage and a shift to airside electric service vehicles reducing emissions from operations.”
With 12 million passengers annually, SJC currently provides a fleet of compressed natural gas (CNG) buses to transport passengers and luggage from the airport’s short- and long-term parking lots. Funded in part by a US$3.8m zero-emissions vehicle grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the new Proterra battery-electric buses will replace the older CNG buses, resulting in the elimination 3,100,000 lb of greenhouse gas tailpipe emissions over the lifetime of these vehicles.
The Proterra electric buses have no combustion engine, so passengers will enjoy a quieter, exhaust-free ride. In addition to traveler benefits, the operational cost of electricity, at US$.19/mile, is substantially lower than diesel, at US$.84/mile.