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Greensboro’s Department of Transportation (GDOT) has been awarded $450,000 by Duke Energy to purchase an electric charging station for City buses. Duke Energy presented the check to City officials Tuesday night.

“Greensboro presented a compelling case for electric buses and the need for charging infrastructure. We are pleased our grant will further electric transportation in the area” – Davis Montgomery, Duke Energy government and community relations manager.

The grant is part of the City’s effort to transition the Greensboro Transportation Administration (GTA) fleet of 47 diesel buses to all electric vehicles. Over the next 10 years, the City plans to pair $4.5 million in voter-approved bonds with federal funds to replace diesel buses that have met or exceeded their useful life of 12 years or 500,000 miles. The Duke grant will allow GDOT to purchase a rapid charging station for the Douglas Galyon Depot. One rapid recharging station can replenish a bus battery array in seven to 10 minutes, which allows the bus to run for two hours before it needs to recharge.

GDOT Director Adam Fischer said GTA is making this transition because the overall life cycle cost of electric buses is $250,000 to $400,000 less than diesel buses due to lower operating and maintenance costs. Electric buses also have no exhaust emissions and are quieter than diesel vehicles. The City could have its first two or three electric buses on the streets by 2018. GTA currently has 11 hybrid buses, but all electric vehicles are proving to be more cost efficient due to advances in technology.

Duke Energy has been active in building public charging stations at parking decks, libraries and shopping areas. The grant program is part of a recent settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and environmental groups.