Gov. Edwards unveils plans for fast-charging EV technology in Shreveport

Gov. John Bel Edwards today announced the Shreveport Area Transit System’s (SporTran) purchase of a fast-charger for its electric bus fleet with a state grant and $150,000 in matching funds from Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO).

“This public-private partnership between SporTran and SWEPCO not only lowers the cost of operating public transportation in Shreveport, but it also helps Shreveport achieve a cleaner, healthier environment,” Gov. Edwards said. “SporTran leads the way in the state and in the South when it comes to electric vehicles.”

Each electric bus has a range of 200 miles per charge. This innovative overhead fast charger will allow buses to pull up, lock in place, and get a 75 percent recharge in just under 10 minutes.

“Electric buses are 75 percent less expensive to operate than diesel and CNG buses. Installing an overhead fast-charger we can keep these zero-emissions buses out on the road longer each day,” said Dinero Washington, SporTran CEO. “We can reinvest the savings into a more sustainable transit system.”

The public transit authority operates five electric buses – the largest fleet of electric buses in Louisiana – saving the city $150,000 annually. It recently received a $200,000 grant from the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Fund for a fast charger and associated infrastructure. 

“Our ultimate goal is to replace 50 percent of our diesel and CNG fleet with electric buses,” Washington said.

SporTran’s diesel and CNG buses average 3.86 miles per gallon – nearly $1 per mile. SporTran's Protera electric buses get 22 miles per gallon equivalent. Their whisper-quiet operation is more comfortable for riders and quieter for the neighborhoods on their routes.

“In the beginning, there was one minor complaint,” Washington said. “Riders could hear diesel and CNG buses approaching from blocks away. They could barely hear the electric buses arriving.”

With the help of SWEPCO, SporTran has received another grant to purchase three additional electric buses. The overhead fast-charger will be installed at SportTran’s Intermodal Terminal in Downtown Shreveport.

“SWEPCO is proud to partner with SporTran in support of their electric bus fleet,” said Michael Corbin, SWEPCO External Affairs manager. “We look forward to working with fleet managers in our area to add electric vehicles and secure charging infrastructure throughout the region.”

About Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO)

SWEPCO, an American Electric Power (AEP: NYSE) company, serves 536,000 customers in western Arkansas, northwest and central Louisiana, northeast Texas and the Texas Panhandle. SWEPCO’s headquarters are in Shreveport, La. News releases and other information about SWEPCO can be found at SWEPCO.com. Connect with us at Facebook.com/SWEPCO, Twitter.com/SWEPCOnews, Youtube.com/SWEPCOtv and SWEPCOConnections.com.

About American Electric Power (AEP)

American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions to our customers. AEP’s more than 18,000 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 219,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.4 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 32,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including 5,273 megawatts of renewable energy. AEP’s family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana, East Texas and the Texas Panhandle). AEP also owns AEP Energy, AEP Energy Partners, AEP OnSite Partners, and AEP Renewables, which provide innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide.



SWEPCO Corporate Communications
Carey Sullivan (318) 673-3458