On Thursday, July 21st, the Port of Oakland Commissioners approved the purchase of five electric buses from BYD Coach and Bus LLC. The new buses will be utilized as parking shuttle buses at Oakland International Airport (OAK). The shuttles are expected to be ready for service in early 2024.
These five will be the first battery-electric buses to be put in service at OAK and will help position OAK to meet State electrification regulations. This addition is the first step in the eventual electrification of the airport’s shuttle bus fleet, which is currently powered completely by CNG (compressed natural gas). Fleet electrification will continue over the next decade until OAK reaches a 100% zero emission shuttle bus fleet.
“This move by the Port of Oakland commissioners is an important one for OAK. This acquisition will kick off our initiative to shift to an all-electric passenger shuttle bus fleet,” says Bryant L. Francis, Director of Aviation at the Port of Oakland. “We celebrate this progress towards a greener OAK, and we look forward to revealing these new vehicles to our passengers when they begin operations in early 2024.”
The total cost of the project is estimated to be $5.5 million. Partial funding is expected from different federal and state grant programs in support of this type of project. One grant in particular that is being pursued by staff at OAK is the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airport Improvement Program (AIP) Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) grant. The grant is expected to total approximately $1.5 million or more if additional funding becomes available.