Location: Kansas City, Missouri

Fleet Type: Electric Shuttle Buses




With the redesign of the Kansas City International Airport that was completed in 2023, the airport became the first in the country to offer electric buses to commuters. Metropolitan Energy Center specifically partnered with the Kansas City, Missouri Aviation Department to support the deployment of zero-emission electric shuttle buses to provide service to the airport’s long-term parking lots.

Transportation amounts to a significant amount of carbon dioxide emissions, whether it’s in the sky or on the ground. With this grant, KCI is positioned to continue its substantial progress in sustainability efforts and renewable energy.

“MEC has gladly assisted the airport with its clean bus initiatives since 1996, upon the formation of Kansas City Regional Clean Cities Coalition,” said Executive Director of Metropolitan Energy Center Kelly Gilbert. “We are excited to help usher in a new era for emission-free client transportation around the new airport terminal. The airport joins seven other area organizations electrifying their fleets during the first phase of a new project that will reduce emissions in, and increase funding to, under-resourced areas of Missouri and Kansas.”

This EVUM grant was a reimbursement to KCI. It was received by Metropolitan Energy Center with an effective date of March 1, 2022.  In total, the grant provides $5,222,326 in federal support with a local cost-share total of $5,232,960 required in total from multiple local project partners. For the KCI project, this grant budgets $732,800 in federal funding to support the purchase of four all-electric shuttle buses for the airport fleet, or 32.41% of estimated project costs. The Aviation Department, in turn, commits to $1,528,000, or 67.59% in cost-share for the purchase of the buses, for total project costs of $2,260,800.

KCI has purchased its buses through BYD (Build Your Dreams), and the pair has announced more K7M buses to be delivered to the airport, building on the progress MEC has helped craft.

Outputs and Outcomes

The Outputs of the EVUM project for KCI have been the purchase of 4 new electric buses and a severe reduction in fleet operation emissions since the beginning of the year. KCI first started working with electric buses in 2017 and finished electrifying its fleet this year in early 2023. The bus system at the airport has been operating with 0 emissions, and KCI plans to electrify the remaining fleet vehicles over the coming years. The Outcomes of this project are setting the standard for the rest of the country and setting the pace for other airports nationwide. Other facilities can look to KCI as the trendsetter and learn more about the benefits of electrification for health and finance.

Best Practices & Lessons Learned

Some best practices from the EVUM project for KCI were manufacturer selection. There are limited options for large-scale electric vehicles, but BYD was the best choice. The only real issue was the timeline, assembly, and delivery of the buses took a bit longer than expected, but every vehicle in the EV space is experiencing similar delays. The sooner you can put in an order, the better.

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