Metro showed off one of its five new electric buses at a press event today with Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich and Wang Chuanfu, the chairman of BYD, the firm building the buses for Metro. As the above video shows, electric buses are very quiet (sorry about the ambient noise).
Without getting too stuck in the weeds, here’s why electric buses matter:
•Metro’s fleet of 2,000+ buses powered by compressed natural gas (CNG) produces less smog than the previous fleet powered by diesel. That’s a good thing.
•But…CNG buses still produce greenhouse gases responsible for climate change.
•Electric buses are zero emission vehicles — they don’t directly produce smog or greenhouse gases (although generation of electricity might depending on the source). Bottom line: the cleaner the electricity, the cleaner the buses’ bottom line emissions.
Metro will be testing the range of the electric buses over the next six months to see how often and where they can be recharged — the buses should have a range in the neighborhood of 150 miles. If testing goes well, the agency has the option to purchase 20 more of the buses from BYD, which is assembling the buses in Lancaster.
Metro’s annual report on energy use has a ton of good stats and info about the agency’s efforts to lower its greenhouse gases.
Here’s video of speakers at today’s event: