Electric buses hit Racine streets; largest fleet in Wisconsin

Racine rolled out new buses on Wednesday, April 27 that run on batteries – not gas. 

"We’re going to save $60,000 a year on diesel at least," said Trevor Jung, Transit Manager.

Ryde Racine rolled out nine electric buses. It is the largest electric fleet in the state. 

"We’re saving the environment. We’re making people healthier just having this bus. It’s amazing," said Gov. Tony Evers. 

The buses are funded by state grants. Not only will they help the environment, but they will also provide a smoother, quieter experience for both drivers and riders. 

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"It’ll accelerate 1.5 times faster than a diesel bus. It’ll climb hills that a diesel bus cannot climb," said Ken Becker, Proterra’s Regional Sales Director-Midwest.

The fleet is the first-ever, purpose-built battery electric buses. 

"The battery is non-conductive non-corrosive, so literally the body is designed around those battery packs," Becker said. 

Gov. Evers and several others got the first ride around Racine on Wednesday. 

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The move to electric transit comes as Wisconsinites feel the stress of energy cost increases.

"We know that moving off of fossil fuels sooner will help lower costs for Wisconsinites," said State Rep. Greta Neubauer (D-Racine).

The battery packs and buses are built in the U.S.