A Los Angeles county transportation agency, the Antelope Valley Transit Agency, has made the pledge to convert to 100% electric buses, according to recent reports. As the county’s bus fleet currently totals around 85, the pledge to go all-electric is a big one — one of the biggest such decisions in the US to date.
As diesel buses are major sources of pollution in many urban areas, the decision is one that will likely reap dividends as far as public health goes. Here’s more on that from a new press release:
Right now, oil leads to about 40% of the carbon pollution in the US. As we shift away from oil and toward other sources of fuel, we will see a major reduction in carbon emission. Traditional buses run on diesel fuel, which emits 40 toxic air contaminants shown to lead to or worsen diseases like asthma and cancer. Low-income communities and communities of color often bear the brunt of dangerous bus pollution. A switch to zero emission buses is key to reducing vehicle emissions, reducing carbon emissions, and improving community health.
Each zero emission bus will reduce carbon emissions by upwards of 270,000 pounds per year compared to diesel and CNG buses. These improvements factor in the emissions from the electricity used to power the buses. And as we shift to cleaner sources of electricity, battery electric or fuel cell buses (especially when the hydrogen is derived from solar power) become even cleaner over time.
Sierra Club EV Initiative Director Gina Coplon-Newfield commented: “A switch to zero emission buses, which require no gasoline and emit no tailpipe pollution, presents a critical opportunity to slash pollution, reduce oil dependence, and make our cities safer. It’s time for transit agencies around the country to jump on board with the Antelope Valley Transit Agency’s important clean transportation decision.”