It’s not common to see a double bus in Ann Arbor, certainly not one that is a battery-powered one. A group of students, faculty and staff got a chance for a very cool bus ride around campus to check out the technology and learn about potential applications at the University of Michigan.
A 60-foot bus that can carry 120 passengers from New Flyer was on campus meeting with Anna Stefanopoulou, director of the University of Michigan Energy Institute. “Seeing and riding and articulated battery electric bus was part of our effort to collect data and simulate various cleaner and ultimately cost effective options for our buses. We are also exploring new mobility systems such as ride-sharing/hailing operating in a real-world environment that enables their integration with energy storage and bi-directional smart fast chargers, along with connection to distributed renewable power generation such as solar arrays as well as the centralized electric grid.”
Sustainability is top of mind for university leaders at all levels.
President Mark Schlissel has increasingly signaled his commitment to carbon neutrality over the past few years. One significant milestone was founding the President’s Council on Carbon Neutrality, where active conversations with business, political, community and university leaders are exploring potential steps for the University of Michigan.
The University of Michigan Regents are also expressly interested in electrification of our fleet as a commitment to our environmental priorities.
Students on the bus were thrilled to extend the ride to central campus to show off the vehicle. Their passion is to find a solution to these environmental challenges and they were interested in the practical applications of fuel cells, charging stations, miles per charge and other details shared as they drove through Ann Arbor.
And with zero carbon footprint involved, they were excited to take a longer ride.