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Why This Matters: As Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg quipped, “Electrified school buses lead to a cleaner planet, healthier children, and new, good-paying jobs. Not bad!”
Switching off of diesel fuels means less climate-damaging emissions, especially important in the transportation sector that currently creates a third of American carbon emissions. And it means that kids don’t have to breathe in harmful air pollution, for which some researchers say there’s no safe level. In the short term, exhaust makes cognitive tasks — like schoolwork — difficult and in the long term, it can lead to heart and lung diseases.
Bigger better batteries: Electric buses are a great fit for battery-powered transportation. Buses are bigger than cars, meaning they can hold bigger batteries and travel farther distances. Some can go as far as 200 miles on a single charge, much longer than most school bus routes, and one bus model holds the world record of driving 1,101 miles on a single charge.
Los Angeles, home to the country’s second-largest bus fleet, plans to make all its buses electric by the end of the decade.
Seattle, which is served by King County Transit, has committed to over 100 electric buses for its fleet.
New York, D.C., and Louisville all have a handful of electric buses in their fleet; New York plans to be completely electrified by 2040.
North American buses are only 1% electric, but around the world, the numbers are much higher. China’s fleet is 20% electric; Amsterdam’s 100 electric buses provide 24-hour service by refueling at charging points along their routes.
Electrifying medium- and heavy-duty trucks is also a sector with plenty of possibilities: in 2018, they were 6 perfect of registered vehicles but spewed out 23 percent of the transportation sector’s climate-damaging emissions. Because highways are often built through low-income neighborhoods and communities of color, the air quality issues caused by trucking are an environmental justice issue — and one that electrifying these trucks could help solve.
By Josh Freed, Senior Vice President for the Climate and Energy Program, Third Way We’ve reached a critical juncture in America’s nuclear energy future. Put differently, we’re in make-or-break territory for reaching net-zero by 2050. That’s because nuclear still accounts for more than 50% of our carbon-free power, and we need all the clean energy […]
It’s been quite a week for pipelines. Though the Colonial pipeline has resumed operations after being shut down by hackers earlier this week, its shuttering prompted gas shortages across the South and East Coast. The incident also increased calls by green groups and clean energy advocates to step up distributed energy resources. Wind and solar […]
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer Canadian energy company Enbridge will continue to operate a pipeline transporting oil from the U.S. to Canada–despite Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s order to halt operations–– stating that the governor did not have the authority to cease the pipeline’s operations. The Line 5 pipeline transports millions of barrels of crude oil […]
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