Unitrans, the University of California, Davis transit system, has purchased six Xcelsior CHARGE battery-electric, forty-foot heavy-duty transit buses from NFI subsidiary New Flyer of America Inc. UC Davis utilized the California Department of General Services (DGS) contract for the procurement.
NFI’s New Flyer was selected by DGS as an approved supplier of electric vehicles in 2019. The DGS contract simplifies potential future bus procurement for California local government agencies for up to five years.
State contracts have been growing as a procurement channel for US transit agencies due to their ability to streamline processes. NFI is currently an active supplier on more than 20 US state contracts and has received more than 600 vehicle awards from state contracts since 2018.
Unitrans operates in and around the UC Davis campus, providing mobility to more than 45,000 students and delivering more than four million passenger trips per year. Unitrans has pursued alternative fuels for nearly a decade, a strategy accelerated by the California Air Resources Board’s adoption of the Innovative Clean Transit regulation in 2018, which mandates the state’s public transit agencies to transition to 100% zero-emission bus fleets by 2040.
The purchase is supported by Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funds and begins conversion of the current Unitrans fleet, comprising compressed natural gas buses (CNG), to zero-emission as existing vehicles reach end of life. Full electrification of the fleet—anticipated for completion in the early 2030s—is a joint venture between the campus and city, both focused on sustainability and mitigation of climate change.
NFI subsidiary Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) has also supported Unitrans’ evolution to zero-emission, with four low-emission ADL Enviro500 forty-foot double deck buses delivered between 2010 and 2017.