Electric bus demo begins Monday, Aug. 20, on in-town route between Vail villages | VailDaily.com

Electric bus demo begins Monday, Aug. 20, on in-town route between Vail villages

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A 40-foot Xcelsior Charge bus manufactured by New Flyer will be in regular service on Vail's in-town route Monday, Aug. 20, through Friday, Aug. 24.

VAIL — The town of Vail will host a five-day demonstration of an electric bus beginning Monday, Aug. 20. The demo is part of a project to upgrade buses servicing the in-town route to battery electric buses in 2020.

A 40-foot Xcelsior Charge bus manufactured by New Flyer will be in regular service on the in-town route through Friday, Aug. 24. The demo is the third in a series of electric bus demonstrations showcasing transit bus manufacturers such as BYD, Gillig, New Flyer and Proterra over the course of 2018. Electric buses produce zero tailpipe emissions, are quiet and have lower maintenance costs and significant fuel cost savings over the life of the bus.

Federal grants

In 2017, the town of Vail, along with Roaring Fork Transportation Authority and the city of Boulder, received awards from the Federal Transit Administration's Low or No-Emission grant project.

Vail was awarded $525,287 in funding during this first round. The town is seeking additional funding from all applicable state and federal grants, including funding through the Volkswagen settlement trust.

The upcoming bus demonstration allows the town of Vail to learn about any issues with the deployment of battery electric buses in the mountain environment and collect performance data from on-route conditions.

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The town of Vail will take information learned during the demonstrations to inform the procurement process. For more information, contact Mark Hoblitzell at mhoblitzell@vailgov.com or 970-479-2333.

Additionally, this project allows bus drivers and mechanics to train and provide important feedback on electric buses. Rider feedback on the demonstration buses is also encouraged.

Once a manufacturer is selected, there is an anticipated 14- to 18-month timeline for production and delivery.