Motiv Electric Bus Technology Powers California Shuttle Buses
Motiv Power Systems, first in the U.S. to introduce an all-electric school bus and garbage truck, recently finished another project – the electric shuttle buses for the Mountain View Community in California.
In an email correspondence sent to InsideEVs, we were told the following by one of the companies involved with this project:
“These shuttles demonstrate we don’t need to design new electric vehicles from the ground up to break our reliance on fossil fuel and offer zero-emission vehicle options. Instead a modular, plug and play system works just as well, maybe better.”
Four vehicles based on the Ford E450 chassis were converted to electric drive using a Motiv Powertrain Control System (ePCS) and an Ameritrans 285 shuttle bus body.
Interesting is that the total cost of those vehicles is in-line with ICE versions, according to the press release.
“Four new all electric community shuttle buses, funded by Google in a two year pilot project, are on the road in Mountain View, California. Known as Mountain View Community Shuttles, the white and blue buses use a modular, plug and play electric powertrain technology from Motiv Power Systems. The Motiv electric Powertrain Control System (ePCS) is the only product suite in the industry that electrifies truck or bus chassis as a ship-though option, using a variety of commercially-available battery packs and motors.”
“The Mountain View Community Shuttle service is aimed at moving residents and visitors through the City between neighborhoods, shopping centers, medical complexes, City facilities and recreation areas. The four electric shuttles are free to the public and are equipped with seating for 16 passengers, a wheelchair lift, space for two wheelchairs, WiFi connectivity and bicycle racks on the outside of the vehicle. The free shuttles are being made available to help residents and visitors access recreational areas. City officials hope the service will reduce drive-alone traffic, as well as help residents get around town in a loop route.”
“While the costs of the two year pilot program are supported by Google, the electrification of the shuttles was made possible through funding from the California Energy Commission (CEC). CEC grants allowed the bus and service dealer, ABC Companies to purchase the batteries, as well as the electric powertrains, and provide Google zero emission shuttles for the same cost as their fossil fuel counterparts.”
“The Mountain View Community Shuttles feature a Ford E450 chassis, Motiv ePCS, and Ameritrans 285 shuttle bus body. With these shuttles, the Motiv ePCS, battery packs, and a motor were installed to replace the engine and transmission of a new incomplete chassis in a ship-through modification. This process, common in the truck and bus industry, is similar to a Compressed Natural Gas ship-through modification and allows for minimal changes between the fossil fuel and electric versions of the final vehicle. Existing truck and bus builders who already use incomplete chassis can use the Motiv ePCS product suite to build and sell electric versions of their existing truck and bus models.”
Meghan Casserly, Google spokesperson stated:
“We’re happy to be working with Motiv and the City of Mountain View the new electric community shuttles. We hope the shuttle system makes getting around a little easier–and greener–for all of our neighbors.”
Motiv CEO Jim Castelaz remarked:
“With these four buses, thousands of residents will get to experience firsthand what an electric bus can offer. These buses demonstrate we don’t need to design new vehicles from the ground up to break their reliance on fossil fuel and offer zero-emission vehicle options.”
Jon Savitz, Senior Vice President, Business Development of ABC Companies commented:
“We’ve been watching the development of electric buses over the past few years. Google’s commitment to clean, efficient transportation and their company wide culture of promoting new technologies, gave ABC’s Ameritrans subsidiary an opportunity to apply Motiv’s fully electric drive system to their shuttle vehicles. The Mountain View Community shuttles are the perfect showcase to apply this technology to our buses, and bring cleaner public transporation to the residents and visitors of the city.”