Electric buses the clearer, cleaner choice, now more affordable, too

Now that electrics have arrived bus-riding has never been better. Not only has travel this way improved, but with electric buses transiting up and down municipal thoroughfares, be they school or commuter, there is none of that typical engine noise so common with and prominent in diesel versions, and the black smoke that can often be seen pouring out of bus tailpipes, that, in the case of electrics, is non-existent. In fact, there are no tailpipes at all on these people-carrying conveyances. And, according to the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) in its Oct. 30, 2018 news release: “Ditching Diesel Isn’t Just Good for Public Health and the Environment—It’s Affordable,” affordable, electric buses are.

“Getting rid of that black cloud of exhaust behind our buses, and the negative health and environmental effects that come along with it, is easier than it may seem,” declared the U.S. PIRG in the release. “According to a new report from U.S. PIRG Education Fund and Environment America Research and Policy Center, electric buses are not only cleaner and healthier than diesel buses, but transit agencies and school districts have many affordable options at their disposal to adopt them.”

There is even more good news with regard to cost savings. Electric buses, compared to their diesel counterparts, require less maintenance, can remain in service longer and because they do not run on liquid diesel fuel, it means they should be less expensive to operate over the life of the vehicle.

As if this isn’t enough, there is more.

“‘Each day, millions of Americans, and millions of our children, get on diesel-powered buses that emit toxic fumes that make them sick,’ said Matt Casale, U.S. PIRG transportation campaign director. ‘We have a better option: the zero-tailpipe emission, all-electric bus. We all deserve cleaner air.’”

Who wouldn’t want and can’t get behind that?! No one!

“‘Climate change is accelerating and transportation is now the biggest climate polluter,’ said Matt Folger, Environment America clean cars campaign director. ‘Switching to all-electric buses will clean the air we breathe and reduce the risks of global warming. School buses and commuter buses should pave the way to a safer climate for their riders.’”

Related to more on the report itself, the U.S. PIRG in the release added, “The report recommends that transit agencies and school districts commit to transitioning their fleets from diesel to all-electric by 2030, and implement a plan to phase out the purchase of new diesel buses immediately. For agencies and districts that need to raise additional revenue to make electric bus purchases, the report recommends issuing municipal bonds and implementing local option taxes, while also seeking out federal, state, or local grant and incentive programs.”

Some may, however, not quite be ready to get aboard the electric bus bandwagon just yet.

“Many transit agencies and school districts say it’s just too expensive to switch to electric buses. But that’s not true anymore. The new report, Paying for Electric Buses: Financing Tools for Cities and Agencies to Ditch Diesel, finds that several funding and financing options, many of which can be used in tandem with one another, are available to help agencies and school districts pay for the upfront cost.”

Though such may sound too good to be true, not so, according to the U.S. PIRG in the news release.

“‘We have the financial tools we need to purchase electric buses,’ Casale said. ‘It’s time to ditch our old, dirty diesel models and get on the road to a cleaner and healthier world.’”

For more on this and related information, visit the U.S. PIRG Web site here.

Image: David Rees, U.S. EPA, cataloged and held by U.S. National Archives and Records Admin.

This post was last revised on Dec. 10, 2018 @ 8:17 a.m. Pacific Standard Time.

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