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HomeNewsLocal newsVIEO Grant Provides Zero-Emission All-Electric Transit Vans Into VITRAN Fleet

VIEO Grant Provides Zero-Emission All-Electric Transit Vans Into VITRAN Fleet

V.I. government officials welcome the new all-electric VITRAN passenger van. (Photo courtesy VIEO)

The charge continues to revolutionize sustainable transportation across the Virgin Islands with the addition of two all-electric passenger vans into the VITRAN bus fleet, the Virgin Islands Energy Office announced.

These vans were fully funded through the Department of Interior’s Energizing Insular Communities grant, which the VIEO has historically leveraged to support the deployment of solar microgrids, the procurement of light-duty electric vehicles, and the installation of charging stations within the territory, according to the press release.

Today’s first-of-its-kind unveiling of a commercial all-electric vehicle into VITRAN’s fleet represents a significant step towards a clean and eco-friendly transportation sector that will further reduce our islands’ dependence on fossil fuels and preserve our pristine environment for generations to come, the press release stated.

The all-electric passenger vans that were unveiled this week are fully electrified versions of the extremely popular Ford Transit 350HD passenger vans that are commonly used by VITRAN, taxi, and shuttle drivers across the territory. The VIEO strategically chose these electric vans to replicate a vehicle form factor that the territory has an established comfortability in hopes of promoting industry-wide adoption while also eliminating the need to purchase expensive gas or diesel and reducing the high cost of routine maintenance associated with traditional internal combustion engines, the release stated.

These fully electrified Ford Transit 350HD passenger vans have extended batteries that provide 200 miles of driving range on a single charge. When in use, this level of range can support up to seven round-trip routes between Christiansted and Frederiksted before needing to be recharged, according to the release.

The new all-electric VITRAN passenger van is now in service on St. Croix. (Photo courtesy VIEO)

As part of the government’s concerted effort to modernize and improve public transit services in the U.S. Virgin Islands, these battery electric passenger vans have already begun servicing popular VITRAN routes on St. Croix, providing residents and visitors alike with a cleaner, quieter, and more efficient way to travel across the islands, it said.

Preparations are already being made to introduce one of the all-electric vans into St. Thomas’s VITRAN fleet, the release stated.

By deploying sustainable and innovative solutions, the government of the Virgin Islands aims to create a more accessible, efficient, and environmentally friendly transportation sector by leveraging the Biden Administration’s once-in-a-generation investment in transportation electrification. Other examples of federal funds that the VIEO is leveraging to promote transportation electrification include the Equitable E-Mobility Rebate Program, which offers $5,000 rebates towards the purchase of new and used electric vehicles for Virgin Islands residents, it stated.

Additionally, in the fall of 2024, VIEO will deploy a network of solar-powered DC fast-changing stations to provide the people of the Virgin Islands with renewable, energy-resilient recharging options, the release stated.

For more information, call VIEO St. Croix office at 340-713-8436 or St. Thomas office at 340-714-8436 or visit  VIEO’s Facebook page.

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