The humble city bus is quietly (also smoothly and emissions-free) going electric. In the past couple of months alone, Chicago, Washington DC, Portland, Oregon and London have begun trials of battery-electric buses, and the Chinese city of Hangzhou has placed an order for 2,000. China’s BYD is building buses in California and planning a factory in Brazil. South Carolina-based Proterra is already taking orders for its second-generation e-bus.
The advantages of battery-electric buses are plain. Although they cost around 40 percent more than legacy diesels, they can save more than $100,000 in fuel costs over a typical 12-year lifespan, according to a new article by Jim Motavalli, which offers a round-up of the latest e-bus deployments around the world.
“Diesel is a dead man walking,” said Proterra CEO Ryan Popple. “The EV transit opportunity is truly global, with the overall bus market at about 500,000 units per year, including school buses. While not on the scale of passenger cars, this is a massive market, one that consumes staggering amounts of fuel per vehicle, and uniquely impacts the most sensitive emissions environment – the urban core.”
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Proterra’s buses are running in Reno, not far from the site of Tesla’s game-changing Gigafactory. The company also recently made a sale to Seattle, which may buy as many as 200 units over five years. Other US cities with electric buses in service include Chattanooga, Tennessee; Tallahassee, Florida; Worcester, Massachusetts; San Antonio, Texas; and Stockton and Pomona, California.
Tel Aviv, Israel put a BYD electric bus into service last year, and may expand to a fleet of 20. Local firm Chariot Motors is building new carriages that can charge in under five minutes, using a system that takes advantage of ultracapacitors.
E-buses are also being used to test wireless charging technology. Pilots are underway in England, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Sweden.
Iceland will take delivery of several electric buses from Chinese manufacturer Yutong this year. Mitsubishi has supplied a couple of electrics to the city of Kitakyushu in Japan. And the list goes on…
Source: From the Grapevine