The Vermont Agency of Transportation plans to purchase four electric vehicles that will be used for public transit in Lyndonville and Bennington.
80 percent of the vehicles’ cost will be covered by nearly $800,000 in federal funding through the Low or No Emission Program.
This builds on previous grants, which helped pay for electric buses in Burlington, Rutland, Montpelier and White River Junction.
“Without those gas costs, without scheduled maintenance being the same as they are on our diesel buses, we are now looking at a return on investment that is getting pretty close to saving enough money in the operation and maintenance areas to offset that higher up-front cost,” said Ross Macdonald, VTrans’ public transit program coordinator.
In Lyndonville, Rural Community Transportation will operate two electric vans. Green Mountain Express will have the same in Bennington.
Once they’re on the road, the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation will spend months gathering data to see how electric transit holds up in Vermont.
“We look at the data that’s coming from the charging infrastructure of the buses to see if they’re getting the savings they’re expecting,” said Jennifer Wallace-Brodeur, VEIC Director of Transportation Efficiency. “We are kind of soup-to-nuts trying to provide assistance to these projects so they’re successful.”