Alabama is ready to see the first electric buses in operation. AAMU Transportation is going to unveil today, 13th November, two Proterra zero emission buses. They’ll be deployed within the Bulldog Transit System (BTS) inside the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

The delivery of two Proterra 40-feet Catalyst marks the first electric buses on the road in the state of Alabama and a first electric bus fleet among HBCUs across the nation.

Recently, the Silicon Valley-based manufacturer received the first order from Idaho. Also, Detroit ended up to be the 100th customer of Proterra battery-electric buses. The American manufacturer is also partnering with Belgian group Van Hool: Proterra batteries are in fact mounted on Van Hool electric coach for North American market unveiled at Busworld in Brussels.

proterra electric bus alabama

A first step with electric buses for Alabama

The purchase of these first two electric buses in Alabama represents the phase one of an initiative to replace the University’s older diesel fleet and to make a positive impact on greenhouse gas emissions.

The Proterra 40-feet Catalyst, 12 meter long, is the model chosen to hit the roads of the university in Alabama. This model can be equipped with 220, 440 or 660 kWh battery. Also the drivetrain is a matter of choice: it could consist of two independent motor for 190 kW each (Duopower drivetrain) or with one single 250 kW permanent magnet drive motor (the so called Prodrive drivetrain)

Two electric buses in Alabama thanks to a FTA grant

“This has been a methodical process that began two years ago with the initial awarding of a $1 million grant from the Federal Transportation Administration (FTA), which allowed BTS to purchase the Proterra buses and to prepare the infrastructure,” said Marshall Chimwedzi, director of AAMU BTS. “In addition to the buses, the AAMU campus community receives upgrades, the addition of charging stations, and a bus storage facility.”

AAMU President Andrew Hugine, Jr., stated that the University has a strong commitment to protecting the environment and upgrading the fleet “with buses that are zero emission, cleaner and much more efficient to operate and maintain.”

“More universities across the country are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and integrate sustainable university policies,” said Proterra CEO Ryan Popple. “With zero tailpipe emissions and a quiet rider experience, electric buses are the perfect solution. We’re proud to partner with Alabama A&M University and Bulldog Transit System as they pioneer Alabama’s first order of electric buses.”


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