BELLEVUE, Wash. - A new 40-foot bus on the streets of Bellevue may be a quiet sign of things to come in King County.
The first-of-its-kind bus is powered by an electric battery and is designed to reduce pollution and fuel costs.
"Even the cleanest diesel buses are emitting all kinds of pollutants that have a real impact on public health. They lead to asthma. They lead to other lung diseases. These buses don't do that," said Vlad Gutman, Washington Director for the non-profit Climate Solutions.
With a 10-minute or less charge, the 77-passenger bus can travel about 23 miles.
One of the big benefits is you do not have to worry about the cost of fuel going up at the pump.
The three buses cost $750,000 each.
Electric bus manufacturer, Proterra, maintains they will save King County money in the long run.
"The sad secret is that diesel buses get about four miles to a gallon equivalent. Verses a diesel bus, you'll typically save about $135,000 in maintenance over the lifetime and somewhere between $300,000 to 400,000 in fuel costs over the life of the vehicle," said Proterra Senior Vice President Matt Horton.
For now, three all-electric buses will be rolling on routes in Bellevue.
All-electric King County Metro bus rolling on the streets of Bellevue. Goal of all hybrid or electric fleet by 2018. pic.twitter.com/eDLiLA0kSn— Dave Wagner (@DaveKIRO7) February 17, 2016
King County Metro is applying for a federal grant to buy six more.
"At Metro Transit, we already have one of the greenest fleets in the nation, Today, we move closer to the goal of dumping the pump and running a completely green fleet." said King County Executive Dow Constantine.
The goal is to have the entire King County Metro bus fleet either hybrid or electric by 2018.
"It's gonna change what it's like to be in our city. It's gonna be quieter." said Gutman.
The three new electric-battery buses were purchased with a $4.7 million federal grant.
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