VESTAL, NY – B.C. Transit is taking its first steps toward converting to a completely zero emissions bus fleet.

The county bus system took a test drive of one of the all-electric bus models that it will receiving in the coming months.

6 fully electric buses, manufactured by Nova Bus in Plattsburgh with drive trains and systems integration designed and built by BAE Systems in Endicott are expected to be delivered in the next 12 to 15 weeks.

Local officials took a trip on the 40 foot long bus today, noting the smooth and quiet ride.

Broome County Commissioner of Public Transportation Greg Kilmer says B.C. Transit already had a number of hybrid buses, with hybrid propulsion systems built by BAE, in its fleet.

“A lot of the things that have been traditionally mechanical in nature, that we’ve relied on a traditional engine to power, like power steering and air conditioning, that’s all being done electronically now. So, not only is this something that is unique in terms of the power moving our buses, but also we’re learning how to maintain these buses. What’s the best way to implement them, how do we support them,” he said.

Kilmer says the buses will have large battery storage cells in the front, back and on the roofs of the vehicles.

3 point 2 million dollars in funding for the new buses came from a federal competitive grant program through the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The 6 buses are expected to remove 416 tons of carbon emissions annually.

Kilmer says B.C. Transit hopes that it can commit to a fully electric fleet by the year 2030.