BATA Celebrates Earth Week With New Electric Vans

Shown are two of the electric vans that will be used by BATA. (Photo courtesy of BATA)

The Bay Area Transportation Authority (Traverse City, MI) is celebrating Earth Week with the delivery of the agency’s first all-electric public transit vehicles. BATA recently received four Ford Transit electric vans and expects delivery of two more electric vans equipped with mobility lifts later this year.

The vehicles were purchased using state and federal transit vehicle grant funding. The vans are still getting outfitted for service, but when road-ready, they’ll initially be used for BATA’s on-demand Link service providing emission-free door-to-door transportation for shopping, doctors’ appointments, and employment.

Features of the new electric vans include:

  • Seating for up to 10 passengers, with ADA accessible versions being able to accommodate up to two wheelchairs each;
  • Up to 130-mile range on a single charge;
  • Smooth and quiet ride;
  • Regenerative braking system; and,
  • Onboard telematics to track battery life in real-time.

“We’re excited to expand BATA’s green fleet with the addition of these new electric vans,” BATA Executive Director Kelly Dunham said. “Public transit is one of many environmentally friendly transportation options in our community, and we’re pleased to make that option even greener with these new EVs.”

EV chargers are planned for installation at BATA’s new operations headquarters opening this summer. Fast EV chargers will also eventually be installed at BATA’s Hall Street Transfer Station.

Some of BATA’s other green initiatives include:

  • Propane Power: Around 60 percent of BATA’s bus fleet is propane powered which emits lower greenhouse gas emissions, is a local fuel source and provides lower maintenance and operating costs;
  • LEED Certified: BATA’s Hall Street Transfer Station is one of the first LEED certified buildings in downtown Traverse City which repurposed an existing Brownfield site, has incorporated energy efficient lighting and HVAC systems, and uses locally sourced low emitting VOC (volatile organic compound) building materials;
  • Conservation: Twenty acres of the 50-acre parcel secured for BATA’s new operations center are being set aside for permanent preservation of wooded wetland to protect the headwaters of Mitchell Creek;
  • Solar Power: More than 15 bus stops throughout BATA’s network have lighting elements that are powered by the sun; and,
  • Environmental Benefits: According to a 2021 UCLA report on the 5 Environmental Benefits of Sustainable Transportation, public transit makes a positive impact on the environment and the climate by helping reduce pollution, create healthier communities and reducing the number of cars on the road.

Visit www.bata.net/green.

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