The buses were manufactured by Motiv Power Systems, using funds from the California Energy Commission. The vehicles use Motiv’s modular, plug-and-play electric powertrain technology.
The Mountain View Community Shuttle service is aimed at moving residents and visitors through the city of Mountain View. Google is funding the bus service for the community.
The demonstration pilot will last for one year. Motiv will collect data and use patterns, with a goal of proving that electric shuttle buses are a viable alternative to their traditional counterparts which run on diesel. Motiv’s electric powertrains are expected to decrease total cost of ownership by 8 percent for initial production vehicles and by over 30 percent for production vehicles, CALSTART said.
Additionally, the team expects to see a significant reduction in the time to produce these vehicles, which, in this case, are converted to battery-power, using existing platforms such as the Ford E-450 chassis. The vehicle can travel up to 100 miles on a single charge, according to CALSTART.
This electric shuttle program was part of a larger 10-project grant administered by CALSTART with the goal of advancing cleaner and more efficient trucks and buses. Funding for the electric shuttles and the other nine projects was provided by the California Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program.