According to Fast Company, the state of California is weaning its riders off of diesel and natural gas-run busses. Within the next ten years, the state will no longer be able to purchase diesel or gas-fueled busses; instead, it will need to invest in electric busses.
Fast Company says that eight of California’s cities make up the ten most polluted cities in the United States. The state has been slowly rolling out electric busses – 100, in fact, are already on the road – but this new rule will speed things up. Hundreds more of these buses “are on order,” and will help the state lower its greenhouse gas emissions, and do its part to clean up pollution.
“It sends a clear market signal that the fifth largest economy in the world is serious about zero-emissions transit buses,” Adrian Martinez, a staff attorney at the nonprofit Earthjustice, told Fast Company. “Even though you’ve had a lot of transit agencies step up to the plate to commit to 100%, getting the stamp of approval from a state as big and as powerful as California is important to send a signal nationally.”
The new rule will be applied to all transit busses, not to school or privately operated busses. “Starting in 2023, large transit agencies will need to buy electric buses 25% of the time (small agencies have a few extra years for this goal), then 50% by 2026. By 2029, agencies will no longer be allowed to buy a bus that isn’t electric,” Fast Company says.
The move to electric busses might also spark other means of transportation to move to electricity, such as transit agencies, cars, and the trucking industry. As more industries move to this seemingly cleaner way to power vehicles, the technology will improve, too. For example, electric busses will one day be able to take on steep hills and heavy ridership.
But, in general, “electric bus tech is ready,” Fast Company says.