Proterra Enters Hawaiian Islands with Electric Bus Order

The battery-electric buses and charging infrastructure will support Hawaii’s ambitious zero-emission and climate action goals.

Proterra 40 Foot Catalyst Bus
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Proterra, a leading innovator in heavy-duty electric transportation, announces that JTB Hawaii Inc. (JTB Hawaii), a provider of travel services in the Hawaiian Islands, has agreed to purchase three 40 ft. Proterra Catalyst E2 electric buses and two Proterra 60 kW plug-in chargers. Travel Plaza Transportation LLC. (TPT), a Hawaii-based subsidiary of JTB Hawaii, has a goal to be Hawaii’s leader in offering tour vehicles that promote sustainability, and the Proterra buses mark an important step toward achieving this goal. 

JTB Hawaii is Proterra’s first customer in Hawaii, the first U.S. state to adopt a 100% renewable energy portfolio standard. Led by Governor David Ige, Hawaii set its sights on becoming the nation’s first carbon neutral economy by 2045. Today, the state has the second-highest percentage of non-commercial hybrid or electric vehicles in the U.S., and Honolulu leads the country with the most per capita photovoltaic solar installations. Hawaii is particularly focused on reducing petroleum use in its transportation sector, which accounts for the highest percentage of petroleum use, according to the Hawaii State Energy Office.

“Environmental sustainability is very important for Hawaii’s tourism industry, and we expect battery-electric buses to be a draw for visitors, who are increasingly focused on the environment,” says Yujiro Kuwabara, President of TPT. “Proterra Catalyst buses represent our first step in transitioning to 100% zero-emission commercial tour buses.” 

JTB Hawaii was the first Japanese travel company to establish a presence in Hawaii and TPT providing ground transportation and guided tours for visitors since 1979. Each year, TPT carries 1.5 million guests on tours across the Hawaiian Islands. JTB Hawaii plans to introduce the Proterra buses into service as part of its new “HiBus” program, and will use them to transport passengers between Waikiki and downtown Honolulu. All three buses will sport a bus wrap featuring artwork by local students with a focus on clean technology.

The Proterra electric buses will replace three of JTB Hawaii’s 17 diesel-fueled transit buses. With the three new electric buses, JTB Hawaii can avoid more than 8,250,000 lbs. of greenhouse gas emissions over the 12 year lifespan of the vehicles. JTB Hawaii plans to use the initial deployment to evaluate the combined maintenance, environmental and performance benefits of transitioning to all-electric buses.

“Hawaii has set an example for other states by committing to ambitious clean energy goals, and we’re honored to be selected as the first battery-electric bus provider for JTB Hawaii,” says Proterra CEO Ryan Popple. “We look forward to working with JTB Hawaii to provide its passengers with clean, quiet, transportation and contribute to the continued preservation Hawaii’s natural beauty.”