California School First with All-electric Fleet
The University of California Irvine will be the first college campus in the U.S. to switch its entire bus fleet to zero emissions for the 2017-18 academic year.
The student-funded and operated Anteater Express shuttle service is acquiring 20 electric buses from China’s BYD (Build Your Dreams) for $15 million. The buses will be built at BYD’s U.S. assembly plant in nearby Lancaster, Calif. The new buses will join a hydrogen fuel cell bus already in operation.
Students approved a measure to pay an additional $40 per quarter per student to the Associated Students of UCI to cover the bus purchase and startup costs, essentially prepaying for use of the system as campus rides on the shuttles are free.
“Once again, UCI is No. 1 in making sure we have a sustainable future,” said ASUCI President Tracy La. “I hope the rest of the country can follow us, and I hope other colleges and universities will do this.”
While other colleges and universities have added some alternative energy transportation in recent years, UCI is the first to completely scrap its traditional diesel fuel-powered buses, officials said.
“UCI is taking an important step, becoming the first college campus in the country with an all-electric transit fleet,” said Stella Li, president of BYD America. “This forward-looking decision is proof of what many in higher education already know: that electric vehicles aren’t a far-off technology of the future, but are here and ready to be put to use today”
The electric buses support the University of California’s pledge to emit net-zero carbon greenhouse gases from buildings and vehicles by 2025.
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