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Renewable all-electric bus makes debut in Santa Barbara County

clean air bus ribbon cutting 1-28-22.jpg
Posted at 2:59 PM, Jan 28, 2022

One three-hour charge can keep the new Clean Air Express bus going for 220 miles.

Santa Barbara County officials were excited to debut the fleet's first all-electric passenger bus on Friday morning.

Officials came out for the bus's unveiling in Buellton across from the Visitors Bureau and Chamber of Commerce.

Congressman Salud Carbajal and CA State Senator Monique Limon cut the ribbon. Das Williams, county District 1 Supervisor, Gregg Hart, District 2 Supervisor, Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte and Buellton Mayor Holly Sierra were among those who showed up for the event.

The Clean Air Express, a fleet which includes 17 buses, offers residents of north Santa Barbara County a way to commute to jobs in Goleta and Santa Barbara.

Lauren Bianchi Klemann, Public Information Manager for Santa Barbara County Association of Governments, told KSBY what the bus means for the county.

"This is a first of a kind for Santa Barbara County," Bianchi Klemann said. "It allows us to replace a diesel-powered engine bus. It's a hundred percent renewable energy, and it's a really exciting opportunity for our customers to ride green."

The 220 miles that the all-electric bus can travel between charges make it qualified for each route, including the longest, the 150-mile round trip between Santa Maria and Santa Barbara.

The bus's purchase was made possible by Caltrans and funds from Senate Bill 1, officials say. Eventually, the Clean Air Express plans to convert its fleet to all-electric vehicles.