The Vermont Agency of Transportation has awarded a contract to Quebec-based Letenda for 4 Electrip buses, a 30-foot (9-meter) 100% electric bus.
The order is Letenda’s first in the United States, a company statement said. The buses will likely be delivered in 2023. A $9.2 million federal grant will cover the purchase cost, plus related costs, of a total of nine Letenda e-buses, the Vermont Dept. of Transportation said August 30.
The buses will be delivered to Green Mountain Transit (GMT) and Marble Valley Regional Transit District (MVRTD) and will be in service in the cities of Burlington and Rutland. These 4 vehicles are added to the 22 electric buses in Vermont already in circulation or in the process of being supplied.
The Electrip’s superior energy efficiency allows it to provide excellent performance in winter conditions, which was a major criterion in Letenda’s selection, Letenda said. The battery and drive train is provided by Cummins, an Indiana-based diesel and electric engine transportation firm. A quick Internet search revealed no reported safety problems with either Letenda buses or Cummins electric engines or batteries. However, a diesel engine model was recalled by Cummins in 2021 for safety problems.
“Vermont is committed to combating climate change and electrifying the transportation sector is an important piece of the puzzle. Vermont is proud to become the first recipient in the U.S of Letenda electric buses, which helps show our dedication to these efforts. It is critical that we show our commitment with the investments we choose to make. I want to thank our partners, including Letenda, for their work to build a greener future,” said Gov. Phil Scott.
Letenda is a Québec-based zero-emission bus manufacturer founded in 2016. For more information on Letenda, visit http://www.letenda.com.
The smaller bus represents a trend towards more routes and smaller numbers of passengers. The Vermont Agency of Transportation is also expanding its ‘micro-transit’ pilot to five communities. Earlier this year, Montpelier was the pilot city for an Uber-like ride-hailing program. At $20/per ride, it’s more expensive per passenger but reduces the wear and tear on larger buses, which often were empty or nearly so.