The Detroit Department of Transportation unveiled four new electric buses on Monday. These are the first electric buses in the DDOT fleet, signaling a commitment to a greener future for Detroit transit.
The buses began operation on two lines, Woodward and Mack. The city intends to rotate the new buses through a few lines to test their performance. DDOT officials hope to eventually expand their service throughout the city. However, the city currently only has one terminal with a charging station: Shoemaker. So, for now, the new buses will only operate in East Detroit.
California-based Proterra manufactured the buses. The DDOT had been working with Proterra for more than a decade to begin electrifying their fleet of buses. Detroit began exploring the possibilities of electric transit vehicles all the way back in 2004.
Electric buses lower maintenance costs and provide a better ride
In announcing the new buses, Executive Director of Transit C. Mikel Oglesby touted the buses’ smooth ride, low emissions, and quietness as major reasons for their inclusion in the city’s bus fleet. Electric buses do not emit any harmful chemicals from their tailpipes, which should help improve Detroit’s air quality. Air quality improvements will lead to a much cleaner city, making everything from simply taking a walk to our open car transport service more doable.
Their motors are cheaper and easier to maintain as well. A recent study found that electric buses are nearly three times cheaper to maintain than their diesel-powered counterparts. On top of that, electric vehicles do not require diesel fuel, which has reached record-high prices in recent months thanks in part to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. With all of these benefits in mind, it’s easy to see why cities like Detroit are pushing so hard towards electric fleets.