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First look at fully-electric buses for Broome County Transit

Broome County is making efforts to go green behind the wheel.

NovaBus (Maci Cosmore)

VESTAL (WBNG) -- Broome County is making efforts to go green behind the wheel.

By next year, electric buses will be hitting the roads across Broome County.

“We are moving towards an electric future,” said Brome County Commissioner of Public transportation Greg Kilmer. “I think the trend is quite obvious; Both the funding and a lot of the engineering and development is is around full electric vehicles. So, we’re trying to take a cautious but somewhat aggressive approach towards moving towards zero-emission vehicles.”

Kilmer said the county is starting with six of the buses and building infrastructure to handle two more.

“We anticipate that probably by 2029 or 2030, we will be fully committed. I don’t think we will be fully implemented, but we will be fully committed to full-battery electric vehicles,” said Kilmer.

NovaBus Regional Sales Manager Paul Chilkotowsky said these are the first all-electric contracted buses by NovaBus for a property in the Empire State.

“It’s fully electrified using systems from BAE Systems right here in Broome County,” Chilkotowsky said. “It’s an amazing story of New Yorkers making products to transport New Yorkers in New York State.”

With the buses being 100 percent electric, Kilmer said the model is unique.

“A lot of the things that have traditionally been mechanical in nature that we’ve relied on a traditional engine to power - like power steering and air conditioning - that’s all being done electronically now.”

Broome County Executive Jason Garnar said along with the charging infrastructure to go with it, the cost is $1.2 million per bus, and funding is coming from a multi-million dollar federal grant.

Garnar said this is the first step for a better tomorrow.

“This is just a sign of the things to come. It’s going to be happening. This is the way of the future and Broome County is getting in on it really right from the get go.”

The first six buses are expected to arrive in Broome County within the next 12 to 15 weeks.

NovaBus said the buses are expected to get about 200 miles per charge.

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