EVs chasing oil-burners away from city transport

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Bloomberg reports that over the next six months, Seattle is rolling out two all-electric buses made by Kleiner Perkins-backed Proterra.

The city gets 95% of its electricity from renewables, mostly hydroelectric dams so charging the fleet will increase overall emissions.

The trials, in tandem with those in Dallas, San Antonio and Worcester, Massachusetts, show that battery-powered buses provide transport solutions more quietly and cheaply than traditional diesel models.

Promoters of electric vehicles (EVs) claim the electric bus fuelled by renewables holds the promise of delivering transport for the masses without damaging the atmosphere.

“We’re pushing to get as green as we can,” said George Stites, supervisor of fleet services for King County Metro, which runs Seattle’s transit system. “Battery buses are where hybrid buses were 10 years ago. We’ll only buy hybrids or all-electric buses going forward. There will be significant fuel cost savings. We expect it to be a lot cheaper over its life.”

The sheer size of the bus means it can accommodate heavy battery units and running it on a set route enables charging cycles to be planned in advance.

US cities are leading the towards clean mobility solutions with more than 41% of bus fleets using battery, fuel-cell and hybrid technologies at the start of this year compared with just 2.1% of private vehicles, according to the American Public Transportation Association.

By 2020, 59% of the world’s transit buses will be electric hybrids and 12% will be full EVs, according to analysts Frost & Sullivan.

However, only 2.5% of US commuters use buses, compared with 76% who use their cars.

For all the latest developments on mobility solutions see Active Safety: ADAS to Autonomous this October 12-13.


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