CARTA Awarded Funds for Chattanooga’s Transit Future

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(Chattanooga, TN) The Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) will continue electrification of its public transit fleet with new funding from the Tennessee Department of Transportation. Building on its 30-year history with the Downtown Electric Shuttle and operation of battery electric buses, CARTA will introduce new van-sized battery electric vehicles to support its neighborhood and paratransit services. 

The CARTA Wayside Inductive Charging Expansion Project will receive $1,369,920 in federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program funds to support deployment of battery electric vans equipped with wireless inductive charging capability supplied by Momentum Dynamics. Momentum Dynamics, a global leader in high-power wireless charging, currently provides wireless charging for CARTA’s larger fixed-route battery electric buses. “Wireless opportunity charging provides CARTA with greater flexibility in the use and operation of quiet and clean energy electric vehicles,” said Philip Pugliese, CARTA’s General Manager of Planning & Grants. “We are excited to bring electric transit vehicles and innovative technology to our neighborhood services.”

CARTA’s Wayside Inductive Charging Project began with the installation and testing of a Momentum Dynamics inductive charging station and the associated deployment of three 35’ battery electric buses. CARTA has subsequently acquired four additional 30’ battery electric buses equipped with wireless inductive charging units. Under this expansion effort, CARTA will install three next generation 300kW wireless inductive charging pads to further support battery electric vehicle operations. 

The primary purpose of this project is to facilitate deployment and effective operation of battery electric vehicles serving fixed route, neighborhood, and paratransit customers to reduce CARTA’s overall emissions. The use of wayside wireless opportunity inductive charging also supports the use and deployment of smaller, lighter weight vehicles and associated battery components, which can support energy savings and power source emissions. 

This project will facilitate the introduction of battery electric vehicles to CARTA’s demand responsive fleet which serves both neighborhood and paratransit operations. Elimination or displacement of future gasoline powered vehicles with battery electric vans would result in direct emission reductions.