Link Transit is in the beginning phases of potentially acquiring 6-10 electric buses from the Netherlands.

During their board meeting on Dec. 20, the board recapped their most recent trip to the Netherlands to visit the electric bus company, Ebusco.

On Nov. 26, Board Chair Rob Tidd, Board Vice Chair Marc Straub, Maintenance Manager Ed Archer and General Manager Richard DeRock traveled to Duerne, Netherlands to Ebusco’s manufacturing plant.

DeRock states that the Ebusco model 3.0, a 12-meter commuter transit coach, is 27% lighter than their current buses.

If accepted, Link Transit would be acquiring 10 electric buses, or a minimum of six buses with the option to buy additional buses in the next few years.

The total cost for six buses would be $4,770,000, and $7,950,000 for 10 buses. This would include the charging stations, shipping, and containers.

Funds for the six buses are already accounted for in the 2023 Final Budget, but if Link buys 10 buses, the remaining funds will come from their reserve funds.

The board calculated that this purchase would cost $400,000 less than a similar electric bus model in Washington State.

Link Transit also expects to save approximately $3.6 to $3.9 million in energy savings with these new buses.

The one issue representatives discovered on their trip was that the bus's current method of battery cooling was using air circulation, rather than liquid cooling.

According to board packet materials, the lithium battery would receive damage at 122 degrees. With the region experiencing higher temperatures each summer (i.e. the 113 degree day from this year) the bus's lifespan is expected to take a hit.

However, due to Ebusco’s goal of entering national markets with hotter climates, such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, they are looking into converting some of their battery cooling systems to liquid cooling, rather than air cooling.

Ebusco proposed adding a liquid cooling agent for their batteries or provide a warranty that would cover the bus in all regional temperature climates.

Delivery is expected to take 18 months after they have finalized their contract with Ebusco.

The delivery timeline for these new electric buses also depends on how long it takes for Ebusco to replace their battery cooling system with liquid cooling.

More From NewsRadio 560 KPQ