Lightweight, agile, small electric buses for underserved community transportation needs.
Pain points for transit providers include poor fuel economy, slow passenger access, and limited ability to entice new riders. Current small buses are built on heavyweight truck chassis, with hybridization or electrification implemented as an afterthought. Light Green Machine's (LGM) solution is a purposefully built hybrid or electric bus with 30+% less mass, full ADA compliancy with no steps or wheelchair lift, and amenities such as onboard WiFi, device charging, and careful attention to people packaging. Targeted outcomes include implementation of a fully Federal Transit Administration (FTA) certified electric small bus for use in public service in an under-served community in the Ithaca region. Success will be measured by adoption by a transit provider, and sustained service utilization above 75% for year 1. LGM's solution will advance electrification of small buses and allow for smaller, more agile vehicles in place of current large buses. Modular design and manufacturing processes will reduce costs and allow for scalability.
The LGM solution will provide cost effective hybrid and electric small buses by reducing mass through composite materials and careful attention to lightweighting. Reduced mass will provide superior fuel economy levels for hybrids, and longer range for full electric vehicles. By coupling with LGM's e-Hub concept for remotely located charging stations, electrified transportation solutions will become much more accessible for disadvantaged communities.
By eliminating the inefficient, fossil fuel burning current small buses, the impact on emissions reduction will be immediate. An estimated 23 tons of GHG emissions per year per hybrid vehicle, and 41 tons per full electric vehicle are anticipated. Long term impact includes additional emissions reduction as implementation expands across NY State and the US, and more LGM buses are placed in service. Added long term impact includes access to more remote locations for bus service, as well as increased access for more disadvantaged communities.
Through fleet operator analysis of the more agile, smaller buses, they will find them to be a cost effective solution for optimizing service routes, and enable strategic deployment where larger buses are underutilized.
Success for this proposal will manifest as full engagement by the targeted underserved communities, increased service routes for fleet operators, as well as reduced operating costs for the LGM vehicles vs. current benchmarks.
This solution has the ability to impact small communities deeply, by providing access to public transit that has not existed for them before, and can impact a larger population through replicated implementation elsewhere.