Thanks to Google, residents of its hometown of Mountain View, California can now get around the city on electric shuttles—for free. Google provided funding and teamed up with Motiv Power Systems to add four new electric shuttle buses to the city’s fleet, which will help move people around the city more effectively. The buses are part of a two-year pilot program aimed at moving residents and visitors through the city in a way that reduces drive-alone traffic, while helping residents get around more effectively via a loop route.
“We’re happy to be working with Motiv and the City of Mountain View on the new electric community shuttles,” said Meghan Casserly, Google spokesperson. “We hope the shuttle system makes getting around a little easier–and greener–for all of our neighbors.”
The four electric shuttles are equipped with seating for 16 passengers, a wheelchair lift, space for two wheelchairs, WiFi connectivity and bicycle racks on the outside of the vehicle. The free shuttles are being made available to help residents and visitors travel between neighborhoods, shopping centers, medical complexes, city facilities and recreation areas.
The costs of the two-year pilot program are supported by Google, while the electrification of the shuttles was made possible through funding from the California Energy Commission (CEC). The CEC grants allowed the bus and ABC Companies to purchase the batteries, as well as the electric power trains and provide Google zero emission shuttles for the same cost as their fossil fuel counterparts.