CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS), together with the City of Charlotte and eTransEnergy, held an event today celebrating the launch of its Battery Electric Bus (BEB) pilot program.
The pilot program electrifies a portion of CATS’ bus fleet, in preparation for a full transition to a zero-emissions bus fleet. The pilot program also allows CATS to collect data and assess vehicle performance while operating on identified City of Charlotte Corridors of Opportunity throughout the greater Charlotte metropolitan area.
The 12 to 18-month pilot program is part of a unique public-private partnership between CATS and eTransEnergy, a subsidiary of Duke Energy. The partnership was approved by Charlotte City Council in 2021 and CATS received its first BEB in December of that year. CATS began service of its first BEB vehicles on Route 16 South Tryon and Route 5 Wilkinson Blvd./Sprinter in March 2022.
“We appreciate working with CATS and the City of Charlotte to advance the city’s clean energy future,” said Brian Savoy, Duke Energy Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer. “Fleet electrification is a key component of our own clean energy transformation goal to reach net zero by 2050, and we look forward to working together on this pilot and eventually on newer and more exciting ways to lower carbon emissions here in our beautiful hometown.”
Over the course of the pilot program, CATS will receive a total of 18 BEB vehicles from two manufacturers: Gillig and New Flyer, accompanying charging infrastructure from two manufacturers: ABB and Siemens, and workforce development training. CATS was awarded a Low or No (Low-No) Emissions Grant which is funding six of the 18 buses. The other 12 buses are funded through CATS’ Capital Investment Program.
The pilot program supports the Strategic Energy Action Plan, which sets a community-wide goal for Charlotte to become a low carbon city by 2050. The pilot program also received technical support through the Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge, an effort to resource cities to take strong action to reduce pollution that contributes to climate change and impact public health.
“We are doing something in Charlotte to be admired and praised,” said Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles. “Our commitment to the Strategic Energy Action Plan really makes a difference. Our city fleet and facilities have a goal to be powered by 100% zero-carbon sources by 2030. That is really significant as a commitment to this community, and I know we have much more to do, but this is an important step.”
For photos and b-roll from the BEB event, visit:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/rnmtp2ha8n506fc/AADUcOqpzpEvzVxldaEMY3K0a?dl=0. This link should be used to download only and should not be shared. Video of the event can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/X1BJc0TvFa8.
Charlotte Area Transit System
Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) is a department of the City of Charlotte and governed by the Metropolitan Transit Commission. CATS is the largest transit system between Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, offering bus, light rail, streetcar, vanpool and paratransit services. Learn more by visiting RideTransit.org or follow CATS on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
City of Charlotte – Strategic Energy Action Plan
In June 2018, the Sustainable and Resilient Charlotte by 2050 Resolution was unanimously passed by City Council. This resolution set aggressive and aspirational municipal and community-wide greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals for the City of Charlotte. Specifically, it strives to have City fleet and facilities be fueled by 100% zero-carbon sources by 2030. It also sets a community-wide goal for Charlotte to become a low carbon city by 2050 by reducing greenhouse gas emissions to below 2 tons of CO2 equivalent per person annually. Lastly, it called for a strategic energy action plan to determine how Charlotte would reach the two goals.
In December of 2018, City Council unanimously adopted the Strategic Energy Action Plan. Sustainability staff developed the SEAP in partnership with community stakeholders and City departments participating in greenhouse gas emission reduction scenario sessions and continuous engagement on the specific areas of the SEAP. This resulted in a comprehensive framework of 11 linked Action Areas containing internal and external actions, focused on transportation, buildings, energy generation, and workforce development/equity with steps on how to reach the goals set by the resolution.
eTransEnergy, a wholly owned subsidiary of Duke Energy, provides unregulated services to assist school districts, transit services and companies across the country achieve their economic and sustainability goals as they transition to clean energy transportation options. More information about the company is available at eTransEnergy.com.
From pre-planning and construction to deployment and operations, eTransEnergy helps fleet managers minimize their total cost of ownership (TCO), reduce operation risk and accelerate zero-emissions goals. As a Duke Energy company, eTransEnergy stands behind the same principles of reliability, affordability and longevity of assets.
Duke Energy – Jennifer Sharpe
Media line: 800.559.3853
CATS/City of Charlotte – Logan Lover