Connecticut’s public transportation fleet has its first battery-powered electric buses.

Gov. Ned Lamont and state officials in Bridgeport Monday unveiled Connecticut’s first two battery-electric buses.

They entered service under the state Department of Transportation’s (DOT) electric bus initiative and feature zero tailpipe emissions and will use 125 kilowatt-hour (kWh) electric bus chargers installed at the Greater Bridgeport Transit (GBT) garage in Bridgeport.

The two buses displayed at Monday’s unveiling are the first of up to five, 40-foot battery electric buses and associated charging infrastructure that will be deployed at GBT. All of the buses will include quiet operation, carbon-fiber reinforced composite bodies and will reduce operating costs with approximately 30% fewer parts than an internal combustion engine.

State officials say each replacement of a diesel bus with an electric bus will avoid 230,000 pounds of carbon dioxide annually, which is equivalent to planting 5,000 trees.

The electric bus project was funded in part by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and DOT. The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority and the Center for Transportation and the Environment also partnered in the project.

“This program illustrates our commitment not only to public transportation and the thousands of Connecticut citizens who rely on it every day, but also to the environment,” Lamont said in a statement. “This green technology is state-of-the-art and will serve us for years to come with clean, safe, reliable service, which is the best way to get people out of their cars and onto buses and trains.”

The push for electric buses is also part of Connecticut’s larger commitment to greenhouse gas reduction targets of 45% and 80% below 2001 levels by 2030 and 2050. Last year, the General Assembly committed to electrify 50% of the state’s light-duty fleet purchases and 30% of the heavy-duty fleet purchases, including transit buses, by 2030.

Meanwhile, DOT says it’s purchasing 12 electric buses for CTtransit service areas in Hartford and New Haven, and will be introduced over the next 12-18 months.

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