Look ma, no wires! Yet another new fleet of Muni buses has arrived, so keep your eyes peeled, because you may notice the new battery-electric buses as they continue in their evaluation and testing phase.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has had five all-electric muni buses, called “battery-electric buses,” for more than a year and a half. But you don’t see them out much, because they’re still in evaluation and testing. But have a look below, as a few more of these electric battery buses have arrived, with their distinctive, unique color and a logo that is not unlike what you see on Shazam's chest.
This is not the first time these buses have been out in San Francisco. SFMTA and Muni acquired the first of these buses in May 2021. But apparently a few more of these new electric vehicles have rolled in recently, so they may be seen in public more frequently.
TAKE A LOOK! We received our first Battery-Electric Bus, a big step towards a zero-emission motor coach fleet. Over the next few months, we will be testing these out on some of our most challenging lines. For more info please check out our project page. https://t.co/ZUybnZfDwi pic.twitter.com/3iEtqg2p4q— SFMTA (@SFMTA_Muni) May 21, 2021
“Muni had initially ordered nine battery-electric buses, three each from three manufacturers, New Flyer, BYD USA and Proterra, for an 18-month tryout,” Muni said in their announcement. “As the program evolved, a fourth manufacturer, Nova Bus, was added to the program who would bring in three additional e-buses for the extensive testing. Currently five e-buses have arrived. The rest of seven will be delivered by the end of 2022.”
“Leading up to this launch, the SFMTA has been working with PG&E to complete and update the charging infrastructure, called ChargePoint Express Plus, needed to power our new battery electric fleet,” they add. “Each bus takes about four hours to charge and the electrical support equipment is enclosed within the Electrical Equipment Center directly adjacent to the charging stations.”
The one we snapped photos of was not in service, it was just testing. But you’ll certainly know when you’re on one, not only because of the lightning bolt logo, but they’re also labeled as “Battery Powered” and “Zero Emission.”
As you see above, we’re still in the testing phase, though that is expected to be finished by year’s end. And while there are only a few of these electric buses now, Muni insists they will eventually transition to an “all-electric fleet.”
Related: A Brief History Of How San Francisco Ended Up With Electric Trolly Buses [SFist]
Images: Joe Kukura, SFist