WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita Transit will become the first transit company in the state to feature battery-electric buses.

Four 35-foot, battery-powered buses will roll into town in early December after local funds matched with a $2 million federal grant.

“So instead of having the big engine, we’ll have an electric motor…a very powerful electric motor on the bus, and instead of having the fuel and all the combustion part of the engine, we just have batteries,” Wichita Transit spokesman Nathaniel Hinkel said.

The buses will require regular preventative maintenance and of course, battery-charging. A partnership with Evergy will also save on the costs of charging.

“For the rider experience, it’s going to be a smoother, quieter ride. We won’t have those big diesel engines in the back making all that noise. Really all you hear is the axle so a very quiet, smooth ride,” Hinkel said.

Wichita Transit will transition into even more electric buses in the future, including replacing the Q-line trolley buses with battery-electric buses in 2020.