Fairmont-Marion County Transit Authority unveils new electric van

Milestone for West Virginia public transit
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 5:18 PM EST
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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - West Virginia has reached a new milestone when it comes to electric vehicles. The first electric van for public transit in our area is now in operation.

The Fairmont-Marion County Transit Authority has unveiled its newest 8 passenger van. The fully electric van has a range of 120 miles per charge. An adapter allows it to charge from the same outlet a laundry dryer would use.

George Levitsky is the transit authorities’ general manager.

He says it will begin picking people up for their errands starting next week.

“We had it out just a little bit ago and it catches people eyes when they see electric written on the side or they see the nice mural that we have and so we just want to see how well it compares to gasoline, cost of running, and dependability,” said Levitsky.

Levitsky says this is part of a larger regional program through Tennessee Technological University.

The $8-million grant-funded study will be conducted over the next 39 months.

Levitsky says they’ll be giving feedback on how the van operates in Appalachia.

“It gives us a head start to see if these vehicles will work in our area -- we really don’t know and that’s why we wanted to do it,” said Levitsky. “Our board was very supportive and we’re very fortunate to have the support of our Marion county citizens who support the levy to be able to do this.”

An electric rail car used in the area in the early 19 hundreds is featured on the side of the electric van as an homage.

Levitsky says in the 20 years he’s worked there its exciting to see the future now.

“To tell you the truth I didn’t think we’d get electric van in my time but hey we have one,” said Levitsky.

Keeping you connected in Fairmont, John Blashke 5 news.