Electric buses save cities’ air quality– and money

by Kristoffer Tigue, InsideClimate News

In the coastal city of Gulfport, Mississippi, the state’s first fully-electric bus will soon be cruising through the city’s downtown streets.

The same goes for Portland, Maine—it just received a grant to buy that state’s first two e-buses, which are set to roll out in 2021. And Wichita expects to have Kansas’ first operating electric bus picking up passengers as early as this month after receiving a federal grant.

As cities and states across the country set ambitious mid-century climate change goals for the first time and as prices for lithium-ion batteries plummet, a growing number of transit agencies are stepping up efforts to replace dirtier diesel buses with electric ones.

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Watch an electric Ford F-150 pickup truck tow 1 million pounds

by Victor Tangermann, Futurism

In a publicity stunt and impressive feat of strength, an all-electric Ford F-150 pickup truck just pulled a million pounds of enormous double-decker rail cars behind it for 1,000 feet — the length of 42 fossil-fuel-chugging F-150s.

To hammer the point home, Ford then parked the 42 F-150s on the rail cars and towed the whole setup for another 1,000 feet — a total of 1.25 million pounds.

The amazing show comes thanks to the instant torque that’s available to electric motors. Internal combustion engines have to get going and rev up before unleashing their maximum potential torque. But the grueling tow is “far beyond any production truck’s published capacity” and shouldn’t be tried at home, according to a Ford statement.

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Democrats flesh out Green New Deal with bill to end sales of gas-burning cars by 2040

by Alexander C. Kaufman, Huffpost

Just days after carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere hit a level not seen in 800,000 years, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) is proposing a bill to completely phase out new gas-burning cars by 2040.

The legislation mandates zero-emissions vehicles to make up 50% of new sales by 2030, and ratchets up the requirement 5% every year for a decade. Merkley plans to submit the bill on the Senate floor Wednesday.

It’s an ambitious proposal, and one almost certain to go nowhere in a Republican-controlled Senate and under an administration that’s in the process of reversing rules to make combustion-engine vehicles more fuel efficient.

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Electric buses offer massive climate savings

Electric buses can reduce carbon emissions and fossil fuel consumption more quickly than cars. Far more quickly! Not only is as bus obviously much bigger than a car, it spends the better part of the day on the move, while cars are parked 95% of the time. Whereas the average passenger car travels between 10-12,000 miles per year, the average transit bus covers three times that distance, logging over 35,000 miles in a normal year of operation. Buses also often run on dirty diesel fuel, making the switch to electric even more of a win-win.

Recognizing the enormous environmental, public health and economic benefits of switching buses to clean, all-electric technology, California recently passed regulations that will require all buses to be electric by 2040. The last diesel bus in the State will be sold no later than 2030, and by 2040 all transit buses in the State will be 100% electric.

And that’s big news!

In case you think the technology is not there, or that the technical challenges will be too great, we just need to look to the Chinese city of Shenzen, which is the gateway from Hong Kong to mainland China, and has a population of over 12 million. Facing growing health care costs and economic disruption from their high levels of pollution, the City government committed in 2009 to transitioning their bus fleet from diesel to electric, and recently completed the task. How many new electric buses is that? Over 16,000!

The good news for those of us living in Sonoma County, is that we have also begun the transition to electric buses.  In fact, the first one is already here, and you can ride it for free!

So hop onto the (free) 24 bus in Sebastopol if you’re close by or contact your local transit authority to tell them to go electric now!

Norway leads an electric ferry revolution


  • Norway is leading the world with electric ferry transportation.
  • Ampere makes 34 crossings a day from Lavik and Oppedal, totallying to an equivalence of 2 times around the Equator annually.

by Jeff Butler, PlugBoats

The world of large commercial boat electrification is being led by Norway electric ferries, which were first introduced to the country in 2014when one of the country’s major ferry companies, Norled, announced the world’s first fully electric battery powered car ferry. Now electric ferries are becoming the latest must-have for one of the world’s most maritime-travel intense nations.

If you’ve ever seen a map of Norway, you’ll know that ferries are a big deal. It’s coastline has thousands of fjord inlets, and if you take into account all of them, it has 25,148 km of coastline – the 8th longest in the world. Just behind Australia (25,760) and well ahead of The U.S. (19,924) and China (14,500).

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How the cargo industry is cleaning up its filthy act

by Kyunghee Park and Jason Clenfield, Bloomberg

Air pollution from cars and factories has been regulated in much of the world since the 1970s. When it comes to the smoke-belching ships that carry global trade, the rules have been a lot looser.

Big changes start next January, though, when long-debated standards from the International Maritime Organizationmandate steep cuts of sulfur emissions associated with respiratory disease and acid rain. Much tougher rules are supposed to take effect in 2050, when the IMO will require ships also reduce carbon dioxide emissions by at least half.

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