Delaware Electric Cooperative is powering one of the first overhead pantograph electric bus charging stations in the state. The cooperative partnered with the Delaware Authority for Regional Transit on the installation of the Proterra charger located at the Lewes Transit Center in Sussex County.

The new charging station will allow DART to quickly charge its growing fleet of electric buses, allowing them to operate the entire day, instead of spending hours plugged into a traditional charging station. Officials with DART said buses will be able to complete five routes before needing to stop by the pantograph charging station for about ten minutes.

DEC President and CEO Greg Starheim said the co-op is excited to be helping to electrify the state’s public transportation fleet. “DEC is proud to have played a role in this project. Electric vehicles or EVs, including buses, are the future of transportation and the new equipment will allow for faster charging and a more efficient use of electric buses at the beach,” he said.

DART currently operates 16 electric buses across the state and expects its fleet of electric buses to grow to 26 by 2023. The current fleet of electric buses is powered by four massive batteries weighing 1,600 pounds apiece. Electric buses also emit no emissions.

Major automotive manufacturers like GM have announced plans to phase out the production of non-EV cars over the next decade. Auto executives expect EVs to account for about 50 percent of new car sales by 2030. As EVs become more popular with Americans, Delaware Electric Cooperative plans to continue to work with DART, state agencies and other organizations with large vehicle fleets to ensure their vehicle charging needs are met.

—Report by Lauren A. Irby, Manager of Public Relations & Community Outreach, Delaware Electric Cooperative