electric buses

About 20 percent of the CATS bus fleet is hybrid diesel-electric buses like this one. More could be on the way.
David Boraks / WFAE


  The head of Charlotte Area Transit System told the City Council Monday he's stepping back from plans to buy diesel replacement buses this year and instead says he'll ask his board to approve buying diesel-electric hybrid buses. The change comes as the city debates how to meet a zero-carbon goal for city vehicles by 2030. 

Rock Hill's My Ride electric buses are lined up at the transit hub.
David Boraks / WFAE

The city of Rock Hill launched a new, free bus service in July, with four loops beginning and ending downtown. Planners decided to use electric buses, making it the first bus system in the country to go electric from the start. 

Charlotte Area Transit System plans to convert its mostly diesel bus fleet to compressed natural gas beginning in two years.
David Boraks / WFAE

Cities around the nation are phasing out heavily-polluting diesel buses. In many places, they're replacing them with zero-emissions electric buses.  But Charlotte Area Transportation System plans to stick with fossil fuels for now, and convert its 300-bus fleet to compressed natural gas. If the plan goes through, Charlotte won't meet the City Council's goal of eliminating carbon emissions by 2030.