Electric Shuttle Vans Now In Service In Sacramento, California

June 24th, 2020 by Zachary Shahan 

After Volkswagen Group was caught cheating diesel emissions regulations, it got hit with some serious penalties in the United States. Those included spending a ton of money across the country to help clean up the air. One project was the nationwide Electrify America charging network. There have also been some commercials to raise awareness and bust myths about electric vehicles. And there have been commercial electric vehicle deployments.

Electric Shuttle Vans Now In Service In Sacramento, California

Photo courtesy Electrify America

This month, three new electric shuttles funded by Electrify America’s +$40 million “Green Cities” program were deployed in Sacramento, California. The vehicles are EV Star shuttles from GreenPower Motor Company.

“The vehicles are being integrated into SacRT’s highly popular SmaRT Ride on-demand micro-shuttle program servicing the Franklin-South Sacramento communities.”

SmaRT Ride provides point to point transportation, solving one of the biggest problems with public transit from the user end — that it’s not convenient enough for many users’ preferences.

Before Covid-19 hit, in February 2020, SmaRT Ride was transporting 230 passengers per day. However, it was using compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles — which are cleaner than diesel vehicles, but sure aren’t clean. The electric upgrades should not only lead to cleaner air, but also lead to smoother, quieter, more enjoyable trips for both passengers and drivers. Focusing on air quality and climate change, people often forget about these major benefits of electric vehicles.

“The GreenPower EV Star shuttles were assembled in Porterville, California and retrofitted with a unique side door configuration added to facilitate shuttle access for those with special needs. Electrify America fully subsidized the costs of the shuttles, the DC fast-charging infrastructure to support them, and the retrofit costs.”

Yes, it’s just 3 shuttle vans, but 3 shuttle vans do a lot more driving than 3 typical cars. More importantly, if the service continues to be successful and gets enough attention, it might inspire a lot more economical ride on-demand micro-shuttle programs using highly efficient, low-cost-of-ownership electric vans or buses.

“The success of SacRT’s micro-shuttle service in the Franklin-South Sacramento area presented us with a prime opportunity to significantly decrease carbon emissions by introducing EV shuttles into the fleet,” Steinberg said. “Expanding service to another under-resourced transit community now also gives Oak Park residents the ability to make connections to major destinations and other transit routes outside their neighborhood.”

“With three new EV shuttles to be incorporated into our fleet, we will have increased capacity to provide new service options to Oak Park residents.” said SacRT General Manager Henry Li. “The on-demand EV shuttle and our new Causeway Connection all-electric bus service linking Sacramento and Davis, are both part of our ongoing effort to modernize and electrify mobility options for Sacramentans.”

Electric Shuttle Vans Now In Service In Sacramento, California

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Tags: California, electric buses, electric vans, EV shuttles, GreenPower, GreenPower EV Star, GreenPower Motor Company, Sacramento

About the Author

Electric Shuttle Vans Now In Service In Sacramento, California

Zachary Shahan is tryin’ to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA] — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in this company and feels like it is a good cleantech company to invest in. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort on Tesla or any other company.


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