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UCHRA Public Transit Fleet Adds Two Electric Vehicles

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
UCHRA Public Transit Fleet Adds Two Electric Vehicles

Two Ford Electric SUVs have joined the UCHRA public transportation fleet.

UCHRA Transportation Director Holly Montooth said the vehicles were purchased through a $90,000 IMPROVE grant from the state. She said working alongside Tennessee Tech has helped the organization see the benefits of going electric.

“Of course, we want to do all we can to support any initiative that’s going to reduce any of the carbon emissions or anything of that nature,” Montooth said. “It’s also, it’s so new. We’re just trying to figure out how it fits and how we can work within it. There’s a lot of things other than just having an electric vehicle that we have to consider.”

Montooth said the department worked with TCAT to get all of its technicians and mechanics qualified to work on the new vehicles, Ford Mach-Es. She said right now, they are dipping their toe into the pool of EVs, but she sees a national trend moving toward going fully electric.

“There’s a lot of steps, a lot of infrastructure, a lot of education that’s going to have to happen before we get to the point to where we can say we’re going fully electric,” Montooth said. “So, we’re starting. We’re hesitantly dipping our toe that way.”

She said they partnered with Tech to acquire a fully electric shuttle that transports students around the campus. That development helped urge the department to move forward with more electric options. She said the fleet usually has some 90 vehicles in motion throughout the Upper Cumberland.

These two vehicles only operate in and around the Cookeville area, Montooth said. She said the charging process has been smooth so far. Drivers simply charge the cars in the evening at the UCHRA public transit maintenance facility, and they are ready to go in the morning.

“Try it out,” Montooth said. “We have a new app, that’s UCHRA Public Transportation, so any chance you get to try it, they look really cool too.”

Montooth said taking the buses around the Upper Cumberland can be cumbersome. Combine that with the fact that Tech has pushed the envelope on moving toward more environmentally friendly modes of transportation, and Montooth said this felt like the perfect fit and the perfect time to add electric vehicles to the operation.


The post UCHRA Public Transit Fleet Adds Two Electric Vehicles appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.