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SMART Unveils New Electric Vehicles

SMART Unveils New Electric Vehicles

Wednesday, September 21, 2022/Categories: SMART News, Public Notices, Highlights, Featured Homepage News

In 2019, SMART and DDOT jointly applied for FTA Section 5339(c): Low or No Emission Program discretionary funding and were awarded a total of $2,600,000. SMART’s share of the award included about $793,000 to be used to purchase up to four electric buses and the required charging infrastructure. A combination of these discretionary dollars and FTA Section 5307 funds were used to purchase four 40-foot Proterra ZX5 battery electric buses and four Plug-in Charging Stations.

The FTA’s Low or No Emission program allows applicants to identify and partner with a bus manufacturer and an electric utility company during the grant application process. This partnership grant procedure satisfies the FTA’s competitive bid process and therefore allowed SMART to partner with electric bus manufacturer Proterra and DTE for this project. Proterra and DTE provided vital support during the grant application process that contributed to our successful grant award.

The procurement process for this electric bus project took place throughout 2020, 2021, and early 2022. SMART worked with Proterra to design the specifications and procure the buses and plug-in charger equipment. SMART’s engineering contractor Hubbell, Roth & Clark helped to design and engineer the charging infrastructure that J.Ranck Electric installed at SMART’s Oakland Terminal. The charger installation was also supported with input from DTE and Proterra.


SMART Electric Bus Press Release 

SMART Electric Bus Brochure 


Frequently Asked Questions

What type of electric bus is being used?
SMART will use 40-foot Proterra ZX5 battery-operated electric buses.

How many electric buses were purchased?
SMART purchased four (4) buses.

When will the electric bus hit the road?
The electric bus will begin traveling on select routes on Monday, September 26, 2022. 

What routes will the electric bus travel?
SMART will be placing electric buses on various routes throughout our system. 

Will the electric bus have bike racks?
Yes, the electric bus will have bike racks that hold three (3) bikes. 

Since the bus is quiet and doesn’t emit carbon, how will someone from the ADA community or a distracted walker/biker know the bus is arriving?
SMART will install reflective decals on the bus to assist with visibility.

Will SMART buy more electric buses in the future?
Technology in the alternate fuel arena is moving quickly and as advancements are made, we will commit to incorporating efficient environmentally friendly vehicles into our fleet and actively pursue Low or No Emission Program grant funding to procure alternate fuel vehicles. In addition, we plan to maintain a diversified fleet of fuel-efficient, variety of sized vehicles that will better match the demand of ridership throughout our service area. 

Why did it take SMART so long to put the electric buses in service?
The buses were accepted in April 2022 and SMART trained its employees and worked with several different municipalities to train First Responders to handle an electric bus for any situation.

Where are the plug-in chargers located and where will the buses be located?
The Oakland Terminal will hold the EV buses and plug-in chargers.  

How long can one bus operate on the road?
One fully charged bus can operate on the road for up to 150 miles on average.

How long does it take to charge a battery?
SMART has a plug-in charger and to charge a battery that is below 10% operating power; it will recharge within 6 ½ hours.

How many buses can the electric bus charger handle at one time?
The plug-in charger is capable of charging two buses at one time.




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