Thursday, August 13, 2015

GreenPower provides EV350 bus for test-drives

2015-08-13 09:37 ET - News Release

Mr. Fraser Atkinson reports

GreenPower Motor Company Inc.'s EV350 2014 40-foot battery electric bus has completed a successful demonstration tour through Oregon and the state of Washington over the past three weeks. While on demonstration, the EV350 was driven by various operators on existing transit routes and successfully completed numerous hill climb, acceleration and extreme use tests.

Mark Quinlan Executive Vice-President of Sales for the West Coast of the United States, arranged for test drives and demonstrations with 14 transit agencies, Tulalip Resort & Casino, The University of Washington and a visit to the state capital in Olympia with the Washington State Department of Transportation ("WSDOT") and the Department of Enterprise Services ("DES") in attendance. GreenPower provided on site demonstrations and test drives in Eugene and Portland in Oregon as well as Vancouver, Shelton, Seattle, Bellingham, Wenatchee, Spokane and Richland in Washington. Collectively, these 14 transit agencies have approximately 1,400 heavy duty transit buses in service of which roughly 1,000 are forty feet in length.

The University of Washington took GreenPower's bus on the Harborview route which runs to downtown Seattle and throughout the campus and included a number of challenging hill climbs. For the steepest hill with a grade of 14%, the EV350 was started at the bottom of the hill from a standstill, stopped halfway up the hill, and then proceeded to the top. Upon completion GreenPower was advised it was the first battery electric bus to accomplish this feat. "I thought this technology was at least five years away," said CraigRobin Smith, a veteran professional transit bus operator for 30 years, who drove the EV350 on the Harborview route. "This is the nicest bus I have ever driven."

Whatcom & Skagit Transit in Bellingham, Washington took GreenPower's bus on a demanding route which included the Alabama hill which has grades over 15%. Again, the EV350 was successful. The successful hill climbs were completed with the FlexPower System{A ™} set at the Regular Duty setting leaving another level of power available for routes requiring more torque or speed.For the Tulalip Resort & Casino, the EV350 was deployed to pick up a tour group of 30 passengers from several local malls on a route which is 60 miles round trip. Upon completion, the drop in the State of Charge was such that GreenPower could have completed the route two more times (180 miles) with power to spare before its next charge. This constitutes a full day of operation for the majority of transit route requirements in the United States.

Spokane Transit Authority had GreenPower's bus for two days with a total of 40 people viewing the bus including the management group, mechanics and four different drivers who took the bus on various routes. "This is the direction the industry seems to be heading," said E. Susan Meyer, CEO. "We are following various propulsion technologies and we believe that an all-electric bus is likely the best choice for our new Bus Rapid Transit project called the Central City Line."

"Having worked in the transportation industry for ten years in the Pacific Northwest and facilitated the procurement of hundreds of buses I have never experienced this level of excitement for a product," said GreenPower's Mark Quinlan. "Each of the transit agencies indicated that this is clearly the direction for public transportation and every agency we visited wants to continue their due diligence process."

In furtherance to its sales and marketing efforts in the Pacific Northwest, GreenPower will be at the Hilton in Vancouver, Washington from August 23rd to 25th, 2015 for the Washington State Public Transportation Symposium. GreenPower will be presenting at 1 PM on August 24th and providing new and follow-up demonstrations throughout the conference.
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