Electric Transit Buses Set to Roll in Connecticut
In November, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection announced that CT Transit was awarded $4.9 million for 12 electric buses and the associated charging infrastructure; plus the University of Connecticut was awarded two electric buses and infrastructure for $1.3 million. The funds for the award are part of the $55 million legal settlement Connecticut received from the Volkswagen emissions scandal.
Transitioning our transportation system from fossil fuels to zero-emission vehicles is an important strategy to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change. In Connecticut, transportation accounts for almost 40% of our carbon pollution. As electric transit buses, like all electric vehicles, have no tailpipes and therefore no tailpipe emissions, they go a long way to solving the problem of emissions.
Electric buses are also a good financial investment. While the initial cost of an electric transit bus is higher than diesel or gas, the lifetime cost to operate these vehicles is lower due to the lower cost of electric charging versus fuel as well as lower maintenance costs. A recent report from U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) (Paying for Electric Buses Financing Tools for Cities and Agencies to Ditch Diesel) calculates the lifetime costs and also provides information on financing buses.
We expect that 14 electric buses is just the beginning of transforming our transportation sector. Connecticut’s transit bus fleet totals about 800 buses across a dozen transit agencies.
Sierra Club Connecticut’s Electric Vehicle Campaign is looking for volunteers to join our team and attend regularly scheduled transit agency meetings in your area. We’re looking for people who have an interest in addressing greenhouse gas emissions and bus transit. If you are interested, please contact EV Campaign Chair Jeff Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Samantha Dynowski is State Director, Sierra Club Connecticut.
Electric Bus charging station in Washington
Photo credit: SounderBruce