AUSTIN (KXAN) — For the first time, electric buses will officially roam throughout the Austin area after CapMetro rolls out their new energy-efficient buses later this month.
On Thursday, the transit agency wrapped up its test on an electric bus and some riders got a chance to experience the battery-powered vehicle.
CapMetro previously had a two-week testing period in 2018 to discover the limits of the buses’ battery.
The average cost of a battery-powered electric bus is $800,000, which is $300,000 more than a diesel vehicle. In order to support a fleet of these buses, CapMetro had to update its infrastructure changing out diesel fuel tanks at bus facilities with charging stations.
Officials say this move will help save money and reduce the agency’s carbon footprint.
“The battery-electric bus is a zero-emission technology, so it allows us to provide the cleanest ride possible from an environmental standpoint,” said CapMetro COO Dottie Watkins.
The agency has previously made other efforts to be more environmentally friendly. In July 2019, CapMetro introduced a fleet of new buses with 90% cleaner emissions compared to the existing fleet.
Next week CapMetro will unveil the final design for the buses, which will feature artwork from Campbell Elementary School students. In December, students in kindergarten through fifth grade submitted artwork for the buses tackling different topics, such as nature, Central Texas locations and self-portraits.
CapMetro said it will receive 12 electric buses by the end of the fiscal year.