The Electric Ride
Zero-emission buses cruise the D-Link routeDowntown Dallas' magenta and yellow buses are now a lot greener.
DART has deployed its new fleet of battery-electric, zero-emission buses on D-Link Route 722.
The agency received a $7.5 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration's Low or No Emission Vehicle Deployment Program (LoNo Program) toward the purchase of seven electric buses and the infrastructure to charge and maintain them. Grants from the LoNo program are helping more public transportation agencies integrate these cutting-edge vehicles into their fleets.
"Battery-electric power may be the next big thing in bus technology, so we're interested to see how these vehicles work for DART," said Darryl Spencer, interim senior assistant vice president of engineering. "We chose the D-Link route because the bus operates in a loop suitable for the battery life range, and Convention Center Station provided a good place to install the fast-chargers."
DART selected 35-foot Catalyst® transit vehicles made by Proterra at its Greenville, South Carolina plant.
Go on a power tripEight battery packs power the bus - six on the bottom and two on the top. Each vehicle can travel up to 30 miles on a full charge, which is more than enough for D-Link's current 19-mile route. The rechargeable battery technology is like that used on the Dallas Streetcar.
Two overhead fast-chargers at Convention Center Station enable the buses to power up via a roof-mounted charging dock while they wait for customers. The vehicles recharge quickly, going from 10 percent state of charge to 90 percent in about 10 minutes.
At night or during maintenance activities, the buses can plug into one of two plug-in depot chargers, located at the bus operating facility. The buses start the next day of service at full power after an initial quick charge at Convention Center Station.
Generate less waste, pollutionSince these electric vehicles emit no tailpipe pollution, each bus reduces carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 244,000 pounds per year versus a diesel bus. Each bus seats 28 people, which means fewer personal vehicles on the roadway.
Proterra electric buses also use 30 percent fewer parts than a traditional bus and do not require oil changes or exhaust after-treatments. An electric bus's modular configuration gives DART the flexibility to change or upgrade the energy storage and charging systems as transit needs evolve.
The carbon fiber-reinforced composite body is impact- and corrosion-resistant. With so little maintenance needed, each vehicle is cheaper over its lifetime compared with other alternatives, such as a hybrid-diesel or natural gas-fueled bus.
Proterra's bus body is also much lighter than its steel counterparts, reducing the wear and tear on public roads.
Back to top