Rhode Island introduces electric buses

Proterra delivered three 40’ Catalyst E2 electric buses to the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA), which was one of the first states able to secure funding from Volkswagen's post-diesel gate settlement pot.

The $14.4 million in financing will enable the agency to get rid of the oldest diesel buses and install some chargers. In total 16 to 20 diesel buses will be replaced with the funding.

"Rhode Island received $14.4 million in VW funding and chose to invest the bulk of it in clean transit, with the intent to replace approximately 20 retiring diesel buses with new, all-electric zero-emission vehicles. This deployment marks the first step toward achieving this goal."

"The milestone represents one of the first deployments to use funding from the Volkswagen AG (VW) diesel emissions settlement. The lease program provides RIPTA with an opportunity to evaluate the combined economic, environmental and performance benefits of deploying all-electric buses. The buses will be tested extensively and staff will be trained in the maintenance and charging of the vehicles before they are put in service."

Together with 73 hybrid buses, some 36% of the fleet is low or zero-emission - hopefully the first step before the company gradually switches to electricity entirely.

Scott Avedisian, CEO of the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) said:

“We are joining other forward-thinking transit authorities that are already employing electric bus technology. We travel the state, and having a greener fleet is important to the neighborhoods we travel through – particularly urban areas with known air quality issues. Taking the bus rather than commuting alone in your car is good for the environment. Taking an electric bus is even better.”

Proterra CEO Ryan Popple said:

“We believe Rhode Island is one of the first states to use VW settlement funds to deploy battery-electric buses and has set an example for other states by committing the majority of its funds to zero-emission transit. We’re proud to work with RIPTA to provide electric buses that will offer Rhode Island passengers — particularly those in areas that suffer the most from harmful diesel emissions — a quieter, more comfortable ride and a cleaner environment.”

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