Electric Bus Visits Madison

MGE and City of Madison Metro Transit preview buses coming to Madison.

At 40-feet long, 11-feet tall and weighing nearly 30,000 pounds, the green and blue bus parked at MGE for a few days in June looks much like your typical mass transit vehicle. But, it has at least one big difference—the bus is all-electric! It produces zero tailpipe emissions. With an electric engine powered by a 440-kilowatt battery, Proterra's Catalyst® has a range of 250 miles. It's a glimpse of what's coming to Madison.

Electric Bus at Madison Reunion

MGE brought the bus to Madison for The Madison Reunion: A Party with a Purpose. The bus is offering tours of the UW-Madison campus to attendees of the first-ever, 1960s-themed conference on campus in mid-June. MGE new market manager Debbie Branson said MGE partnered with organizers to help highlight what sustainable mass transit will look like in the future.

"We think it's important to share with our customers and stakeholders the benefits of electric vehicles (EV). EVs are cleaner, quieter and require less maintenance. Using an electric bus for the tours during the Madison Reunion is one way to expose people to the advantages of EVs," Branson said.

As part of the Madison visit, the electric bus also is being used to give rides to and from the Madison Night Market where MGE has its all-electric Chevy Bolt and offers EV and charging information to interested customers. 

The bus is charging at our DC Fast Charger in downtown Madison.

The bus is charging at our DC Fast Charger in downtown Madison.

Fully charged, the bus can travel up to 250 miles.

Fully charged, the bus can travel up to 250 miles.

Electric Buses and Metro Transit

Proterra, the manufacturer of the bus, will be providing the City its first three all-electric buses.  MGE and the City partnered to secure federal funding for the buses  to help advance the City's goal of electrifying 50% of its fleet by 2035.

"Metro Transit believes e-buses are the technology of the future. Staff are looking forward to learning as much as possible from these first three buses so we're even better prepared to add additional vehicles into the fleet," said Mick Rusch, Metro Transit marketing and customer service manager. "Metro is modifying its current maintenance facility to give it the ability to handle up to nine electric buses in the future as we work toward electrifying 50% of the fleet."

Rusch expects the first three electric buses in 2020. As part of the partnership with Metro Transit, MGE is providing:

  •  100% of the required local matching funds for charging infrastructure for the three all-electric buses.
  •  Continued in-kind support and expertise to address technological issues and facilitate cost effective and efficient use of energy.

EVs: A Key Strategy for Reducing Carbon Emissions

Transportation accounts for more than 25% of the greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. The electrification of transportation can reduce this impact.

Under our Energy 2030 framework, MGE is targeting at least a 40% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. Beyond 2030, we have committed to at least an 80% reduction by 2050.

MGE shares the goal of a cleaner energy future. Our partnership with Metro Transit will help meet these shared goals for our community.

published: Jun-14-2018