City of Columbia awarded federal grant for electric buses

Last week, the US DOT announced the 5339 No Lo Grants including an award to the City of Columbia (COMO Connect).

The City of Columbia was awarded a $1,712,300 grant to purchase low floor battery-electric buses that will replace diesel buses that have exceeded their useful life. By deploying these advanced technology buses, the City of Columbia will reduce its energy consumption and local emissions and continue to develop the relevant skills and experience necessary to enable future expansion of zero-emission buses in the city’s COMO Connect fleet.

The cost of an electric bus from BYD Motors, Inc. is about $600,000, while the cost of a diesel bus is between $450,000 and $475,000, according to The Missourian. The electric buses have a lifespan of 12 years, while the city’s diesel buses need to be serviced after 3 years.

The electric buses will save COMO Connect an estimated 70 percent in maintenance costs.

This is part of the first grants that are from the new reauthorization bill, the FAST-Act, that Congress passed, and the first of the grants from the new Sec 5339 grant program.  This program has a total of $55 million each year of the 5 year bill.