San Antonio mulling $80M electric trolley fleet

In the near future, taking a trip to remember the Alamo might be just a zero-emissions ride away in some parts of San Antonio. The Texas city is considering an $80-million project to buy a fleet of as many as 80 electric trolleys, install chargers and create an inductive infrastructure for them at several stops, according to The Rivard Report. Some of the vehicles could be purchased within the next 18 months if things move forward.

Produced by a company from Wisconsin called Hometown Trolley, these vehicles operate more akin to an electric bus but with an old-school look for the interior and exterior. Using lithium-ion batteries, the company claims a range of up to 140 miles, according to The Rivard Report. There's no track to ride on, though, and they're fully enclosed, complete with air conditioning to beat the sweltering Texas heat. Depending on size, each one costs $650,000 to $800,000 and can carry between 24 and 34 people.

Under the proposal, the electric trolleys could run five routes through San Antonio. Each of them would focus on being near universities, museums, and other amenities, including one line stopping within two blocks of the Alamo. At least five inductive charging sites at major locations would help keep the vehicles on the road between full charges.

According to The Rivard Report Hometown Trolley has met at least three times with the city's busing company to pitch the idea. However, the deal isn't accepted yet. The electrification of public transportation is growing in popularity, though. Commercial EVs are even predicted to reach a global total as high as 805,000 units by 2023. Cities around the world – especially in China and in Europe – are already shuttling people around with zero emissions.

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