Electric Transit Vehicle
Jaunt, Central Virginia’s regional public transit system, has added its first-ever all-electric transit vehicle to its fleet—the first of its kind in the region, and the first to be in operation in Virginia. The public transit system also announced plans to transition its entire fleet to electric vehicles, as it prepares for the future of transit in Virginia.
The vehicle, a Ford Transit Passenger Van, has a range of up to 120 miles on a single charge, is fully accessible, and can accommodate 10 passengers.
Jaunt CEO Brad Sheffield said, “As an important part of our commitment to the people we serve, we consistently adapt to new technology that is proven and here to stay. Electric vehicle technology is an example that has become well-established. It’s time for commercial transit to get on board with electric vehicle technology.”
By realizing the Commonwealth’s zero-emissions goals, the move toward all-electric vehicles is in support of the City of Charlottesville’s Environmental Sustainability Policy and the 2025 Vision Statement for the City which states a major goal of Charlottesville becoming a “green city.” It is also in support of Albemarle County’s resolution to reaffirm commitment to support local actions to reduce climate pollution.
Jaunt’s electric transit vehicle begins February 3, 2020 as a regular part of Jaunt’s transit fleet serving the region.
Jaunt is Central Virginia’s regional public transit system, connecting people to their community. Jaunt delivers convenient and reliable service with its on-demand and commuter routes, all through the use of current technology and a customer-focused approach. Jaunt is a public service corporation, owned by the region’s five local governments, and operating with financial assistance from community partnerships, federal and state transit grants, and local government funding support.
Jaunt Electric Transit Vehicle FAQs
Why is Jaunt launching an electric vehicle?
As an important part of our commitment to the community we serve, we consistently adapt to new technology that is proven as the future of the transit industry. Electric vehicle technology is an example of that technology that has become well-established for consumers in our region. It’s time for commercial vehicle operations like public transit to prepare for the future use of electric vehicle technology. Following the leadership of the Commonwealth’s zero-emissions goals, the move toward all-electric vehicles is also in support of the City of Charlottesville’s Environmental Sustainability Policy and the 2025 Vision Statement for the City. It is also in support of Albemarle County’s resolution to reaffirm commitment to support local actions to reduce climate pollution.
How efficient are transit electric vehicles?
Electric vehicles are up to three times as efficient as gasoline-powered vehicles. That’s primarily because electric motors are 90-percent efficient at converting energy into motion, compared to 30 to 40 percent for vehicles with conventional engines.
How far can the vehicle go?
The range for the Jaunt EV is 100-120 miles. About 60% of our vehicles travel that far each day; which makes overnight charging sufficient for Jaunt’s initial implementation.
How much will it cost to charge?
Overall, you can expect an electric vehicle of this type to cost about 8 cents a mile to charge at national average electric rates. A similar combustible engine transit vehicle that gets 12 mpg would cost about 15 cents a mile to fuel.
What type of charger does the Jaunt EV need?
There are three levels of chargers:
- Level 3 is known as fast charging. These chargers will primarily provide direct current at up to 500 volts. Level 3 chargers are in public places and can provide an 80 percent charge in under an hour. Level 3 chargers will be available at destinations where Jaunt stops to pick up and drop off passengers. Charging will be done at this time, in addition to charging during vehicle storage.
- Level 2 is a 220-volt charger, which is available at the Jaunt vehicle storage location and can fully charge the EV in 8 to 10 hours.
- Level 1 is a 110-volt charger that can charge a plug-in hybrid or extended-range electric vehicle overnight, but would take more than 24-hours to charge a pure electric vehicle. They will usually be built into the vehicle and can be used for “opportunity charging” when another type of charger isn’t available. The Jaunt EV will not have or use this type of charger.
Will the electric vehicle work in the winter?
Yes. Using the heater, lights, and wiper (or to a lesser degree the air conditioner in the summer) can use up additional battery charge. The batteries also have a little less energy in the winter. None of these factors will impact the EV’s range. Passenger comfort will always be prioritized over battery conservation.