Post Content

DASH electric buses face challenges from hills and cold weather

Electric DASH bus, photo via DASH/Facebook

Alexandria bus network DASH has been charging ahead on its electric bus program, but DASH leadership said the initiative has also faced a few bumps in the road.

At a meeting of the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission last week, DASH General Manager Josh Baker shared some of the city bus service’s experience with implementing electrical buses.

“At DASH, we are endeavoring to have a fully zero-emissions fleet by 2025 with phase-out of diesel and hybrid buses by 2027,” Baker said. “The 2025 benchmark is to understand that buses have a minimum 12-year duty cycle.”

While Baker said that electric buses are a big short-term investment — approximately $5.1 million for six battery-electric transit buses and fast chargers — the idea is that electric buses will counter-balance that with long-term benefits to maintenance and fuel costs. So far, Baker said that’s been borne out by electric buses requiring half maintenance cost compared to diesel counterparts, though it’s worth noting that the electric buses are also newer than the diesel buses.

“We’ve been operating electrical buses for over a year,” Baker said. “They were first implemented in October last year. We’ve seen some success, and they’ve been well received by the community and riders.”

Baker also admitted that the electric buses have some challenges, specifically that “they don’t love hills and they don’t love highways, which is something to keep in mind as the program moves forward.”

Baker said the biggest problem, though, has been with the bus chargers.

“The biggest issue we’ve had has been with charging,” Baker said. “As long as they’re charged they’re out there running, but chargers have a tendency to go down for various reasons. We’ve had troubles with installation and contractors and getting them serviced when they break down.”

As winter starts to approach, Baker said the other issue is heating on the buses. Baker said that the electric buses don’t have an engine to generate the same levels of heat that diesel buses do.

“If you’re generating heat from the battery, up to 60% of that can go into heating,” Baker said.

As technology advances, Baker said the heating system in electric buses are likely one of the things that will change over the next few years.

Photo via DASH/Facebook

Recent Stories

An Alexandria woman was caught carrying a loaded gun at a security checkpoint at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on Tuesday (October 4). The incident occurred in the early morning,…

Last Friday, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) announced that the Potomac Yard Metro station would not be opening this fall, as they’d been insisting it would for months….

One of Alexandria’s more unique Halloween traditions, a reenactment of Edgar Allen Poe’s 19th-century speaking engagements, is set to return for two nights later this month. Every year, The Lyceum…

It’s a change that likely won’t go noticed by many Alexandrians, but the city is making an adjustment to its manholes that could have an impact on flooding during storms….

Looking for a more convenient way to work out?

On the Go Fitness Pro offers in home personal training. We bring the gym to you, so you can save time and skip the hassle of going to the gym. Plus, our trainers are certified and experienced, so you can be sure you’re getting the best possible workout.

We provide all the equipment needed for a great workout or we can use the equipment that you have.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

Are you tired of going to the gym? It might be the crowds, the locker room, waiting on equipment or the time it takes to commute to the gym.

Having a personal trainer come to your home will keep you accountable, save you time and allow you to workout in the comfort of your own home.

Skip the hassle of the gym and try our in-home personal training service.

Our services are reasonably priced, convenient, effective and are risk free.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

Think BIG! About the Future of Movement

Join the City of Alexandria and Arlington County’s Initiative to Rethink Energy at our first ever electric vehicle (EV) and sustainable technologies showcase! Get inspired by seeing a variety of electric cars, scooters, bikes, motorcycles, police cars, buses, trucks and

Between Home and the Front: Book Talk and Signing

Join the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum on Zoom or in person at the museum for a special book talk with the curators behind Between Home and the Front: Civil War Letters of the Walters Family. A book signing will be


Subscribe to our mailing list