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Lightning Systems, Diamond Coach, A-Z Bus Sales to deploy all-electric shuttle buses San Diego Airport

| September 23, 2020

Project includes 39 Ford E-450 and F-550 all-electric shuttles from Lightning Systems

Bus maker Diamond Coach, commercial electric vehicle OEM Lightning Systems and bus dealer A-Z Bus Sales today announced the delivery of the first 20 all-electric Ford E-450 buses to ACE Parking to serve as passenger shuttles at the San Diego International Airport.

Another 19 electric buses, a mix of E-450s and F-550s, are being delivered to ACE Parking over the next 90 days.

“With decreased downtime and economic efficiency of electricity, the San Diego International Airport will save up to nearly $20,000 a year per vehicle versus LPG or CNG vehicles,” said Kevin Hernandez, managing director of ground transportation for ACE Parking in San Diego. “Additionally, these vehicles will reduce around 5 million pounds of CO2 emissions at the airport annually. The incredibly quiet and smooth ride will lead to decreased driver fatigue and riders will enjoy a more serene experience onboard.”

The vehicles are being deployed to help the San Diego Airport comply with California’s Zero-Emission Airport Shuttle Regulation, which was adopted in June 2019 by the California Air Resources Board. The new regulations require airport shuttle operators to transition to 100 percent zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) technologies. Airport shuttle operators must begin adding zero-emission shuttles to their fleets by 2027 and complete the transition to ZEVs by the end of 2035. The regulation applies to airport shuttle operators who own, operate, or lease vehicles at any of the 13 California airports regulated under the rule.

The new vehicles feature Endera’s AI-driven telematics platform to automate records and reporting, as well as provide a new dispatching console. Each vehicle will be equipped with an automated passenger counting system, which uses cameras and AI algorithms to accurately count passengers and provide detailed reports to the management team.

Part of the technology was designed to help combat the spread of COVID-19 by including an infrared camera that reads passengers’ temperatures as they board the bus, alerting the driver of an ill passenger. Endera’s energy management system also will allow fleet operators to easily and efficiently monitor and manage their vehicles charging stations to minimize energy usage.

Endera’s vehicles also offer the Wayne Go app, available on iOS and Android, which allows airport riders to see in real time where buses are relative to their location, next bus estimated arrival time, seat availability, and give riders the ability to provide feedback of their experience.

“We started Endera because we wanted to advance the adoption of sustainable energy,” said John Walsh, CEO of Endera, the consulting and financing company that is working with ACE Parking. “We believe that our planet is in trouble and want to come up with an economically viable solution be able to solve that problem. We want to have as many electric trucks on the road as possible because that means every truck is reducing CO2 emissions from the environment.” 

ACE Parking’s new vehicles also feature Lightning Analytics, which tracks thousands of data points related to the vehicle’s efficiency every second.

Tim Reeser, CEO of Lightning Systems, promised this is the first of many joint shuttle-bus deployments. “These shuttles are running 200 miles a day – so it is great validation of the reliability, efficiency, and range of our vehicle, charging, and energy technologies.”

ACE Parking was the first to order charging stations and software provided by Lightning Energy, a new division of parent company Lightning Systems that provides comprehensive charging solutions to fleets. Under the program, Lightning Energy provided 39 DC fast charging stations for ACE to recharge the shuttles.

“The addition of our Lightning Energy software and hardware solutions to this project enabled us to reach important range and efficiency targets,” Reeser said. “It also helps ACE reduce utility demand charges and enables them to keep the vehicles on the road 18 hours a day.”

As part of the order, Lightning Systems trained and supported ACE’s service partners in San Diego. Lightning Energy also will provide 24×7 support to ensure vehicle uptime is maximized, Reeser said.

All the buses feature fully integrated Trans/Air Manufacturing Corporation 75,000 -100,000 BTU all-electric cabin air conditioning. Trans/Air, headquartered in Dallastown, Pennsylvania, is a Lightning Systems certified partner. 

Category: Driver Stuff, Electric Vehicles, Featured, Fuel & Oil, General Update, Green, News, Vehicles

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