New York City has announced plans to convert its public bus system to an all-electric fleet by 2040. Details of the planned conversion are expected to be included in a modernization plan for the city’s transit system that the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) will release in May.
“It does depend on the maturity of the technology – both the bus technology and the charging technology – but we are deadly serious about moving to an all-electric fleet,” NYC Transit President Andy Byford said at a recent board meeting.
MTA, which has over 5,700 buses in its fleet, is already testing 10 electric buses, and plans to buy 60 more by 2019.
Dozens of cities around the world have begun the transition to electric transit. London’s world-famous red buses are steadily going electric. Several transit agencies in the Los Angeles metro sprawl have committed to fully electrifying their fleets – LADOT recently ordered 25 Proterra e-buses. Meanwhile, China reportedly has 385,000 electric buses in service.
The economic case for electric buses is growing stronger by the day. A recent report from the Financing Sustainable Cities Initiative and Bloomberg New Energy Finance explains that e-buses are rapidly becoming cheaper than legacy diesel buses. Another report from the US Public Interest Research Group makes the same case, and a lengthy article in Vox describes the current state of the e-bus scene in detail.