The City of Wichita has introduced the first of its new battery-electric buses that will be operated by Wichita Transit.

The buses are manufactured in Iowa by Proterra and are built of strong composite materials the reduce weight, while increase strength and durability of the vehicles.  The composite materials also mean salt and sodium chloride used to treat roads during winter will have no affect on the bus, cutting down on cleaning an maintenance.

“We’re thrilled to be the first city in the state to feature these buses.” said Mayor Longwell during a press conference this morning where the buses were introduced.

Dale Hill, founder of Proterra says the chief selling point of the buses are their cost savings.

“In 12 years, you’re going to spend about $400,000 per bus on diesel fuel.  Electric bus, you’re going to spend around $100,000.  You’re going to save another $150,000 on maintenance.” says Hill.

City also partnered with Evergy to help save on the cost of charging the buses, which can travel 150 miles on a single charge.  The overall cost savings for the buses is expected to be over $500,000.

The purchase of the buses was made possible by a grant from the Federal Transportation Administration.  The battery-electric buses will eventually replace Wichita Transit’s current fleet.