ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The city is on track to fulfill its renewable energy goals with the help of electric buses. The city’s addition is a 40-foot electric bus. It holds 37 passengers and begins service Saturday morning. The bus will run the 66 Central Avenue route but officials plan to run other routes as well to test its battery life which they anticipate will be 150 to 175 miles a day.
“We want to check and see how it does on terrain how it does with the full load, how it does with different temperatures going up and downhill. So we’re going to do a lot of testing over the course of the next year,” said Transit Department Director Danny Holcomb. The city plans to purchase five more buses and have them all running by the end of the year. Each bus costs $925,000 and is being paid for with grant money provided by the Federal Transit Administration.
According to a news release from the city, drivers and maintenance staff for the electric bus have been training since December and the city hopes to buy five more electric buses this year. The city says electric buses are part of the Mayor Tim Keller administration’s commitment to make Albuquerque a renewable-energy city.
“Albuquerque is on the route to 100% renewable energy by 2030—and we’re rolling out another big step toward that goal with near-zero-emission electric buses. When we lower the carbon emissions coming from our roads, we lower our carbon footprint, and we uphold our commitment to a cleaner, healthier Albuquerque,” Mayor Keller said in a news release.
The city says in addition to the new buses, over the past three years the mayor has:
- Signed the Paris Agreement committing to climate action,
- Installed 38 solar projects at city-owned buildings,
- Added dozens of electric vehicle charging stations across Albuquerque,
- Helped local businesses reduce their energy bills through the Mayor’s Energy Challenge,
- Made the transition to more sustainable LED street lights citywide,
- Provided over 200 local homes with free energy audits and upgrades,
- Launched Solar Direct project to get to achieve over 80% renewable energy use by Fall 2021,
- Purchased the first electric vehicles for the City fleet,
- Achieved LEED for Cities Silver certification, and
- Ranked 5th Most Improved City on the 2020 ACEEE Clean Energy Scorecard.