Duke University is adding two 40’ Proterra Catalyst E2 electric buses to its fleet. Duke is the first university in North Carolina to purchase electric buses, and expects to deploy the buses on campus in 2020.
Since initiating the University’s climate commitment in 2007, Duke has reduced the campus greenhouse gas footprint by 24 percent. However, in the same timeframe, Duke has seen a 9 percent increase in total emissions from employee commuting, air travel and Duke-owned fleets. In order to address the impact transit has on its carbon footprint, Duke plans to phase out the purchase of hybrid and diesel-hybrid buses and will buy electric buses moving forward.
“Using electric buses is a big step toward reaching our goal of being carbon neutral by 2024,” said Jason Elliott, assistant director of Sustainable Duke, part of the university’s Office of Sustainability. “The buses will be a great way for students, staff and faculty to experience the impact of the work Duke is doing in sustainability.”
The new zero-emission buses will replace two diesel vehicles from the university’s 24-bus fleet, which currently consists of hybrid-diesel and diesel vehicles. The battery-electric buses release zero tailpipe emissions, require no oil changes and use no liquid fuels. Duke expects to save approximately $924,000 in maintenance, fuel and vehicle costs over the lifespan of the two buses. As replacements for diesel vehicles, the Proterra Catalyst electric buses can also save more than 5 million pounds of carbon emissions over their 12-year lifespan.
“This was an easy decision to make,” said Carl DePinto, director of Duke Parking and Transportation Services. “The buses are clean, quiet and support our goal of becoming a climate-neutral institution.”
In addition to the two battery-electric buses, Duke will install two Proterra 60kW plug-in charging stations with standardized charge ports that can also be used to charge other electric vehicles in the fleet.
“Duke joins a growing list of forward-thinking educational institutions implementing Proterra electric vehicle technology and creating healthier campus communities,” said Ryan Popple, CEO of Proterra. “We are proud to provide the Duke community with Proterra Catalyst electric buses, supporting the university’s sustainability initiatives with clean, quiet campus transportation.”