Miami-Dade County in Florida today announced it has bought 42 Proterra ZX5+ electric transit buses, featuring a total of 19 megawatt hours of battery storage capacity. The county also announced that it will install 75 Proterra chargers across three bus depots. Its first electric buses are slated to be delivered in 2022.

Miami-Dade’s new electric buses and chargers

Its latest purchase brings Miami-Dade’s Proterra electric transit bus total to 75.

Burlingame, California-headquartered Proterra designs and manufactures its products in the US. The 40-foot ZX5+ buses with Duopower drivetrain that Miami-Dade bought has a seating capacity of 40 passengers and feature the following specifications:

Total energy 450 kWh
Operating efficiency 1.7-2.4 kWh/mile
Operating range 163-232 miles
Top speed 65 mph
Acceleration 0-20 mph in 5.7 seconds,
20-50 mph in 12.8 seconds
Gradability 65 mph at 5%, 48 mph at 10%, 31.5 mph at 15%
Max grade 27.5%
Horsepower 550 peak, 338 continuous
Motor Dual independent 205 kW motors
Gearbox 2-speed auto-shift EV gearbox
Curb weight 29,849 lbs
Max gross vehicle weight rating 43,650 lbs
Max plug-in charge rate at 200A 132 kW
Max overhead charge rate 330 kW
Overhead charging 33 miles replenished per 10 min, 2 hours estimated time empty to full
Plug-in charging 2.9 hours estimated time empty to full

The fleet charging installation project is one of the largest in North America. It features three depot locations, each equipped with 25 120kW chargers at each location, for a total of 3 megawatts (MW) at each site and 9 MW across the three sites.

Miami-Dade County mayor Daniella Levine Cava said:

This is a major step forward in Miami-Dade County’s commitment to incorporate clean, renewable energy to protect our environment and offer better transportation options. With these new electric buses, Miami-Dade will lead the way with the largest sustainable transportation fleet in Florida and one of the largest in the nation.

Electrek’s Take

China leads the world in electric bus use by far, with more than 421,000 e-buses on the road in 2021 and 1.32 million projected for 2025. In contrast, as of 2020, there were around 650 electric buses running in the US – but that number has grown and continues to grow rapidly, as Miami-Dade and many other US cities are demonstrating.

In May, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced the Clean Transit for America Plan, which would provide $73 billion to replace the US’s 70,000 mass transit buses and 85,000 cutaway vehicles and transit vans with clean energy vehicles.

Is Schumer’s and Brown’s transit plan going to prevail? We don’t know, since Congress continues to horse trade over the many details of Biden’s enormous infrastructure plan. We certainly hope so.

Regardless, US government at the city and state levels and manufacturers are gearing up and implementing the big shift to electric public transport, like what Miami-Dade is doing. But the US really needs big federal government support. Watch this space.

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