The electric car revolution is gaining ground, with manufacturers increasingly developing hybrid and all-electric vehicles. While an improvement on the traditional combustion engine, these cars still contribute to traffic congestion, and clog up already stressed city streets. However, a recent spate of investments by Silicon Valley may help offer hope to those concerned with both emissions and traffic.
The solution lies in fleets of all electric busses that are slowly rolling out in cities across the country. Seattle, Dallas, and Worcester, Mass. are among the major metropolitan regions that have begun to invest in all-electric buses.
The electronic busses present clear environmental advantages, such as eliminating emissions, drawing power from renewable sources, and reducing fossil fuel consumption. Additionally, there are strong economic incentives such as reduced fuel, and health costs. Ultimately, it is estimated that each bus will net at least $500,000 in savings over its lifetime.
City leaders and municipal departments are always looking for effective ways to improve their communities. The implementation of a strong climate action plan that includes electric busses is a big step in the correct direction. For further resources on how to communicate about the benefits of electric busses and other climate solutions, please visit Path to Positive.
Buses that neither belch pollution nor draw on coal power are starting to appear on city streets, with the support of Silicon Valley and a company backed by Warren Buffett.
Over the next six months, Seattle is rolling out two all-electric buses made by Kleiner Perkins-backed Proterra Inc. The city gets 95 percent of its electricity from renewables, mostly hydroelectric dams that don’t use fossil fuels. So charging the fleet won’t increase emissions.
The trials, replicated in Dallas, San Antonio and Worcester, Massachusetts, show that battery-powered buses can move people more quietly and cheaply than traditional diesel models. While cities for years have embedded hydrogen and natural-gas vehicles in their fleet, the electric bus fueled by renewables holds the promise of delivering transport for the masses without damaging the atmosphere.
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