(Kansas City, Mo. – April 7, 2021) The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) and Evergy are pleased to announce the unveiling of the first two electric buses to be used in RideKC public transit service in the Kansas City region. Evergy is sponsoring the vehicles with specially branded graphics that will be unveiled at the event. (Attendees will be required to have their temperatures taken and wear a mask.)
The event will be live streamed at 10 AM at the following links:
“This is just our first step into zero-emission vehicles,” said KCATA CEO Robbie Makinen. “We are committed to the region’s Climate Action Plan which calls for transitioning to an electric bus fleet. Zero fare electric buses will improve the financial and environmental health of our community.”
“Evergy is excited to partner with KCATA to bring electric buses to Kansas City. Electric buses provide emission-free transportation and can help make our electric grid more efficient with overnight charging,” said Kim Winslow, Senior Director of Energy Solutions, at Evergy.
The two 40-foot electric buses from GILLIG LLC, the leading manufacturer of heavy-duty transit buses in the United States will be put in service later this spring. In addition to a smoother, quieter ride and a reduced carbon footprint, the new GILLIG buses offer enhanced passenger comfort and safety features. These include easy-to-clean vinyl seats, USB charging ports at all seats, high definition cameras, drivers’ protection barriers, and passenger information monitors.
Bus charging will be supported by new ChargePoint charging stations installed at KCATA. The project is funded by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and matching funds from Kansas City’s ½-cent transportation sales tax.
One of the electric vehicles will operate on MAX lines and the other will travel along other local routes so customers throughout the community will be able to enjoy the environmentally friendly benefits and quieter ride.
The vehicles are powered by six onboard batteries, with a battery capacity of 444 kWh, providing an estimated range of 150 miles. The buses utilize energy recovered from a regenerative braking system and feature a direct-drive traction motor with peak torque of 3500 Nm (2,582 lbs.-ft.). They are equipped with state-of-the-art Cummins electrified powertrain. Because they are built on GILLIG’s low-floor bus platform, the new electric buses ensure parts and training commonality with KCATA’s existing GILLIG fleet.
“We’ve been partnering with KCATA for more than 20 years to provide safe, reliable, high-quality transportation,” said Bill Fay, GILLIG Vice President of Sales. “We are pleased to provide the first GILLIG battery-electric buses in Kansas City.”
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