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VTA to Pilot Advanced Electric Bus System Charging Project


In the continuous quest to reduce negative impacts on the environment, VTA will collaborate on a project to minimize stress on the electric grid while charging electric buses.

The California Energy Commission awarded a $2 million grant to Prospect Silicon Valley and an innovative Silicon Valley collaborative, including VTA, to research, develop and demonstrate an advanced energy management and grid services system for electric transit bus fleets. Prospect Silicon Valley and a number of other local organizations and firms are also involved in the collaboration.

As public transit agencies across the country move toward adoption of Zero Emission vehicles this project will optimize performance of the new technology and minimize stress on the state electric grid.

Developing vehicle-grid integration (VGI) strategies will advance the state’s goal of reaching 1.5 million zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) on California’s roadways by 2025, as well as its goal of having 50 percent of state electricity generated from renewable resources by 2030.

The advanced energy management system that will be developed with this funding will reduce costs for charging electric buses, minimize the impact of bus charging on the grid, and provide valuable services that assist the integration of intermittent renewables like solar and wind. The project will serve as a major case study for transit agencies throughout the country.

VTA will add 5 Proterra electric buses to its fleet later this year, expanding the fleet to 35 electric buses over the next two years. VTA has acquired innovative smart networked charging stations, which will provide the foundation for the Advanced Transit Bus VGI project.  VTA will provide engineering services, fleet management requirements, in field testing, and collection of charging/energy usage data from the fleet.

Working with its Clever Devices VTA dispatch software provider, VTA will be updating the dispatch software to improve EV fleet management, and coordinating with PG&E on rate usage and interaction with the VTA one megawatt solar installation.

“This project will provide a critical cornerstone towards moving our entire fleet to zero emission vehicles,” says Nuria Fernandez, CEO for VTA, “and we are excited to be partnering with nationally recognized industry experts on this important project that will advance the state’s strategic electrification goals.”

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