On the Road to Zero: Fairfax Connector Introduces Battery-Electric Buses

Published on
09/29/2023
electric-powered Connector bus

 

Our commitment to sustainability and a greener future is reaching new roadways with the introduction of Fairfax Connector battery-electric buses. These cutting-edge buses are paving the way for a more eco-friendly and efficient public transportation system across our county.

On Thursday, these new buses were celebrated as the latest sign of environmental progress alongside an all-electric trash truck and solar-powered county fire stations, among other recent achievements.  

ribbon cutting by county officials in front of new electric buses

 

Battery-Electric Bus Pilot Program

The battery-electric bus pilot program includes eight buses housed at the West Ox Bus Garage. To support this initiative, four 150 kW dual dispenser chargers were installed, marking the beginning of our journey toward a greener future.

These buses will undergo rigorous testing, providing invaluable experience as we work towards a fully zero-emission bus fleet.

Currently, four more electric buses are in production for the Huntington Bus Garage, with the installation of eight 62.5 kW chargers already underway. Additionally, another four buses are in the pre-production phase, scheduled for delivery in 2025.

“After months of preparation, we are ready to introduce our first electric buses to the community and begin our battery electric bus pilot program, said Chief of Transit Services Division Dwayne Pelfrey. "The pilot program includes several phases and is the first of many steps toward a more sustainable transit system in Fairfax County. Information obtained during the pilot program and ongoing evaluation of various technologies will guide strategic decisions in the coming years as we work to build tomorrows transit system today.”

 

Benefits of Battery Powered Buses

Battery electric buses offer a multitude of environmental benefits, including:

  • Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions: The buses significantly cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to a cleaner environment.
  • Less Air and Noise Pollution: The electric engines make the air we breathe cleaner and reduce noise pollution, creating a more pleasant urban environment.
  • Reduced Dependence on Fossil Fuels: These buses help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, making our region more energy independent.
  • Maintenance: They have fewer moving parts and the potential for reduced maintenance.

 

Green Transportation

This effort aligns with several community outcome areas of the Countywide Strategic Plan, including Environment & Energy, Healthy Communities and Mobility & Transportation. Specifically, our Operational Energy Strategy has set a goal for carbon neutrality in facilities, fleet vehicles and county operations, including 50 percent of county electricity from renewable sources, by 2040.

Additional transportation improvements include photovoltaic panels on the Stringfellow Transit Center. Upcoming installations in the Monument and Springfield parking garages align with the Park Smart certification for energy-efficient and environmentally friendly structures.

Our Department of Transportation's Active Transportation section actively encourages pedestrian and bicycle commuting, featuring bike racks and storage rooms at multiple transit facilities. There is an ongoing expansion of Capital Bikeshare stations across the county, promoting alternative modes of transportation.

The transition to battery-electric buses represents not only a step towards environmental responsibility but also a milestone in building a greener, healthier and more accessible future for Fairfax County.

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