CALSTART announced that four electric shuttle buses are being deployed in Mountain View, California. The Mountain View Community Shuttle service is aimed at moving residents and visitors through the City between neighborhoods, shopping centers, medical complexes, City facilities, and recreation areas. The buses were manufactured by Motiv Power Systems of Foster City, using funds from the California Energy Commission (CEC). Google is funding the bus service for the community. The buses went into service last week.
The vehicles use a modular, plug-and-play electric powertrain technology. The Motiv electric Powertrain Control System (ePCS) electrifies truck or bus chassis as a ship-though option, using a variety of commercially-available battery packs and motors.
The four electric shuttles are free to the public and are equipped with seating for 16 passengers, a wheelchair lift, space for two wheelchairs, WiFi connectivity and bicycle racks on the outside of the vehicle. City officials hope the service will reduce drive-alone traffic, as well as help residents get around town in a loop route.
The demonstration pilot will last for one year. Motiv will collect data and use patterns, with a goal of proving that electric shuttle buses are a viable alternative to their dirtier traditional counterparts which run on diesel. Motiv’s electric powertrains are expected to decrease total cost of ownership by 8% for initial production vehicles and by over 30% for production vehicles. Additionally, the team expects to see a significant reduction in the time to produce these vehicles, which in this case, are converted to battery-power, using existing platforms such as the Ford E-450 chassis. The vehicle can travel up to 100 miles on a single charge, and will offer quiet, comfortable rides to the city’s residents.
This electric shuttle program was part of a larger 10-project grant administered by CALSTART with the goal of advancing cleaner and more efficient trucks and buses. Funding for the electric shuttles and the other nine projects was provided by the California Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program.