King County Metro celebrates launch of battery-electric bus fleet and charging facility

Posted: 12 April 2022 | | No comments yet

With a total of 40 battery-electric coaches to be put into service by the end of 2022, King County Metro is currently on track to have a fully battery-electric fleet by 2035.

King County Metro celebrates beginning of battery-electric bus service

Credit: King County Metro

King County Metro, along with King County Executive Dow Constantine, has celebrated the unveiling of its battery-electric bus fleet and electric charging station at Metro’s South Base in Tukwila. The first battery-electric buses began service on 30 March 2022.

The test base, which can charge up to nine coaches simultaneously, has been created with an interchangeable design that utilises charging infrastructure from multiple manufacturers, which means that all of the major battery-electric buses will be able to successfully charge at any station. The facility will also be able to charge electric vehicles already in use by Metro and King County.

“As we charge up these new electric coaches at this state-of-the-art facility and send them out on the road, we’re reducing global carbon emissions while taking local air pollution out of the communities most impacted by climate change,” said King County Executive, Dow Constantine. “Developing buses to handle our unique conditions and scaling up our green infrastructure wouldn’t be possible without the innovative leadership of King County Metro and our partners in the transportation industry. That co-ordination has delivered the fleet that will drive Metro to the next green frontier.”

In 2020, King County announced its agreement to purchase next-generation, battery-electric coaches. Thus, a total of 40 battery-electric coaches will be put into service by the end of 2022, meaning that Metro is currently on track to have a fully battery-electric fleet by 2035. The 60-feet coaches hold 120 people and can travel approximately 140 miles on a single charge, while the 40-feet coaches hold 76 people on a 220-mile route on a single charge.

Metro is committed to having the first coaches serve routes in south King County, in transit-dependent communities that have been impacted by air pollution and climate change. The first of the coaches will go into service on Metro’s Route 193.

“This is the type of exemplary collaboration and partnership that we need to achieve our climate action goals for the region,” said King County Mayor, Bruce Harrell. “We are committed to delivering clean, reliable, fast transit service to every Seattle resident. Working together, we can build a cleaner, greener future.”