More electric buses could be added to the Owensboro Transit System fleet down the road. OTS Manager Pamela Canary said they’ve seen positive results from the lone electric bus that was added a year ago.
Canary said that bus — which was fully funded by a grant, meaning the City didn’t have to pay a dime to acquire it — operates with lower maintenance and provides a quieter and smoother ride than the diesel buses in the fleet.
According to Canary, another perk of the electric bus is it’s 30-35 feet long and slightly over 11 feet tall, so it can seat eight more guests and allow for more standing room.
“We’ve had no complaints. It was a good (move to add the bus), and we’re very fortunate that we were able to obtain a grant to purchase that bus,” she said.
Canary said the bus can make it three-quarters of the day — roughly 12 hours out of its 16-hour schedule — before it requires a charge and is replaced with a diesel bus. However, the charge depends on the route it takes on any given day, Canary said. The electric bus rotates through the system’s routes throughout the week, as do all buses in the fleet.
Canary noted that while the battery drains upon a driver accelerating, when the bus is coasting it prolongs the battery life. She said the bus takes roughly an hour and a half to charge before it can get back out to finish the day’s route.
Canary said more electric buses could likely join their fleet of 12 buses down the road, especially as battery life technology expands.
“It would be very realistic to see more in the future. The technology is changing, so the battery life is getting longer in the newer ones. I think there’ll be more, especially with grant opportunities to obtain vessels with very little or no cost to the agency,” Canary said.