New Flyer of America Inc. recently announced that King County Metro (Metro) has agreed to purchase 40 60-foot zero-emission, battery-electric Xcelsior CHARGE™ heavy-duty transit buses from New Flyer, with plans to order an additional 80 battery-electric buses in the coming year. Upon execution of the purchase agreement with Metro, the order will be added to New Flyer’s backlog.
Metro’s agreement to purchase up to 120 new battery-electric buses, starting with the initial order of zero-emission articulated buses, was announced today by King County Executive Dow Constantine alongside Metro General Manager Rob Gannon, during a celebratory event and bus demonstration at Metro’s South Training Facility in Seattle, Washington. The announcement follows Metro’s 2018 electric bus evaluation program, which used New Flyer’s Xcelsior CHARGE™ buses, and is a major milestone in the county’s efforts to improve air quality, reduce carbon and create a zero-emissions bus fleet by 2040 or earlier.
In 2017, Executive Constantine and Metro General Manager Rob Gannon called on the industry to invest more in battery-electric options, including the creation of coaches that could travel farther and handle the varying terrain requirements of the region. New Flyer stepped up to the challenge, producing both a 40-foot and 60-foot battery-electric bus that met Metro’s specifications and timeline needs. The buses Metro will purchase both have a battery size of 466 kWh.
“Metro is a proven climate leader in America, and today’s announcement brings us even closer to the reality of a 100% zero-emission fleet,” said Chris Stoddart, president at New Flyer of America. “For over 40 years we’ve proudly supported Metro with over 1,800 buses in pursuit of sustainable mobility, and together, this next step drives a major milestone that not only reduces Metro’s carbon footprint in King County, but improves air quality and helps to build a more livable community for everyone.”
Since 1979, New Flyer has delivered over 1,800 buses to Metro, with over half comprised of zero- emission or hybrid electric propulsions.
“Today, we’re celebrating major progress toward our goal of transforming Metro to a zero-emission bus fleet, which is better not only for the environment but also for our customers,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “These new buses will be able to serve routes all over King County, and especially in the southern part of the county, an area disproportionately affected by pollution. Working with New Flyer, we’ve procured 40 new buses that can handle anything we throw at them – quietly, efficiently, and fueled by clean power.”
“This first fleet order of battery-electric buses helps combat the climate crisis and enhances our ability to serve our customers,” said Rob Gannon, Metro general manager. “Hundreds of thousands of King County residents choose safe and efficient transit each weekday – keeping their cars off the road and emissions out of the air. This new battery-electric bus partnership with New Flyer allows us to do even more to reduce our county’s carbon footprint. New Flyer has consistently delivered what we asked for and in the timeline we’ve needed.”