County conducts demonstration ride on new zero-emissions, battery-electric bus

Battery electric bus

The Miami-Dade County’s Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW) recently held a demonstration event of a zero-emission, battery-electric bus at the Vizcaya Metrorail Station.

District elected officials and DTPW Director Alice N. Bravo, PE, received a brief demonstration drive from Proterra, an industry leader in the design and manufacture of zero-emission electric vehicles.

In October 2019, the Miami-Dade County Commission unanimously approved the purchase of at least 33 40-foot battery-electric buses and the installation of depot chargers (charging systems) for the Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW).

Every emission-free bus can eliminate 1,690 tons of carbon dioxide over its 12-year lifespan. This equates to 27 cars off the road. Additionally, electric buses travel approximately 17.48 miles per diesel gallon equivalent. By using less fuel on the same route or even over longer distances than diesel-powered buses, fleets using zero-emission buses can reduce their overall fuel costs annually.

“By adding battery-electric buses to our Metrobus fleet, we are reducing our fuel and maintenance costs and providing our transit drivers with a more reliable and smoother ride,” said Alice N. Bravo, PE, Director of the Department of Transport and Public Works. “I look forward to putting our first battery-electric buses into operation in the near future.”

Proterra will manufacture its ZX5 battery-electric bus model for Miami-Dade County. Delivery of the ZX5 bus to DTPW is expected in early summer 2021.

The notable components of the new ZX5 bus model include:
• Improved acceleration – 1.5 times faster than a standard diesel bus;
• Improved comfort and ergonomics of the driver’s area;
• USB socket for each seated passenger and WiFi on board;
• Greater reliability and better ride quality;
• bike rack compatible with fat tires;
• Automatic Passenger Counter (APC);
• Camera surveillance system with 14 CCTV cameras;
• Target sign system with LED signs on the front and curb and
• Improved maneuverability for changing lanes

In addition, the battery-electric buses of the ZX5 have a service life of at least 12 years, a 12-year guarantee on the batteries and the charging system as well as training courses, spare parts and diagnostic tools.

The new battery-electric buses will replace diesel-powered buses that have exceeded their useful life.

DTPW currently has 767 active buses in its Metrobus fleet. Of these 767 vehicles, 420 are compressed natural gas (CNG) and 347 are diesel or diesel hybrid buses.

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