The Mineta San José International Airport has selected Proterra to deliver 10 Catalyst E2 electric buses, thereby creating the Bay Area's first electric airport bus fleet, replacing the current compressed natural gas (CNG) buses in service.

The interior of BYD Coach and Bus factor

The interior of BYD Coach and Bus factor

In the tender for the electric shuttle buses, it is interesting to note that Proterra bested BYD in terms of price (although the ebuses themselves had different specifications, so it is not a true apples-to-apples comparison):

"A competitive Request for Bid was facilitated by the Finance Department to procure the buses. Two bids were received from Proterra, Inc. and BYD Coach & Bus LLC, who submitted bids of $759,824 and $969,498 per bus, respectively.

Staff recommends award to Proterra, Inc. as the lowest, responsive, and responsible bidder pursuant to the formal bidding procedures of the San Jose Municipal Code, Section 4.12.31 OB."

The SJC also has on option to order five more buses in the future. The buses are to be delivered in late 2018.

"With 12 million passengers annually, SJC currently provides on-site shuttle buses to transport passengers and luggage among the airport's short- and long-term parking lots, consolidated rental car garage and terminals, with a fleet of compressed natural gas (CNG) buses.  Funded in part by a $3.8 million zero-emissions vehicle grant from the Federal Aviation Administration, the new Proterra battery-electric buses will replace these older CNG buses, resulting in the elimination 3.1 million pounds of greenhouse gas tailpipe emissions over the lifetime of these vehicles.

Since the Proterra electric buses have no combustion engine, riders will enjoy a quieter, smoother, exhaust-free ride. In addition to traveler benefits, the operational cost of electricity, at $.19/mile, is substantially lower than diesel, at $.84/mile.  Combining this with greatly improved vehicle efficiency, at 21 MPG equivalent, vs. 5 MPG for their current CNG buses and reduced vehicle maintenance costs will result in an estimated savings of about $4 million during the 12-year lifetime of these ten new Proterra buses. "

San José Mayor Sam Liccardo said:

"The addition of this all-electric bus fleet reflects SJC's continued commitment to delivering a world-class passenger experience and advancing our community's collective sustainability goals. These electric buses can help us significantly reduce costs and greenhouse gas emissions, and represent a step towards our aspiration that an electric engine power every shuttle and bus on San Jose's streets."

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