AAMU Transportation unveils first electric buses in Alabama

Nov. 13, 2019
AAMU ushers in a new era of clean, quiet transportation and marks the first deployed electric buses in Alabama and for an HBCU.

Alabama A&M University’s (AAMU) Bulldog Transit System (BTS) introduced two new Proterra electric buses to the campus and the public Nov. 13. 

The electric buses mark the first electric buses on the road in the state of Alabama and a first electric bus fleet among Historically Black College and Universities (HBCUs) across the nation. 

University and public officials, as well as representatives from Proterra, attended the ceremony in the center of the campus. 

Attendees heard about the importance of zero-emission transportation and learned about the features of the two battery-electric buses, which represent phase one of an initiative to replace the university’s older diesel fleet and to make a positive impact on greenhouse gas emissions. 

“This has been a methodical process that began two years ago with the initial awarding of a $1 million grant from the Federal Transportation Administration (FTA), which allowed BTS to purchase the Proterra buses and to prepare the infrastructure,” said Marshall Chimwedzi, director of AAMU BTS. “In addition to the buses, the AAMU campus community receives upgrades, the addition of charging stations, and a bus storage facility.” 

AAMU President Andrew Hugine, Jr., stated that the University has a strong commitment to protecting the environment and upgrading the fleet “with buses that are zero emission, cleaner and much more efficient to operate and maintain.” 

BTS and Proterra formed a strong partnership to deliver clean, quiet transportation to AAMU and the surrounding community. Proterra is a manufacture of heavy-duty electric transportation and designs, engineers and manufactures its battery systems and buses in America. AAMU partnered with Proterra to purchase the two 40-foot Catalyst electric buses that will be available for public display. 

“More universities across the country are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and integrate sustainable university policies,” said Proterra CEO Ryan Popple. “With zero tailpipe emissions and a quiet rider experience, electric buses are the perfect solution. We’re proud to partner with Alabama A&M University and Bulldog Transit System as they pioneer Alabama’s first order of electric buses.”