No not yet. But cities like San Francisco and Lawrence are definitely doing their part to decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
The city of Lawrence recently added three new hybrid diesel-electric buses to their public transit fleet. The 40-foot buses operate similarly to a hybrid car — a bank of batteries largely power the machine when it is operating at low speeds, while the diesel engine recharges the batteries and helps the bus operate at higher speeds.
According to the SFMTA website “The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has the goal of reducing its fleet greenhouse gas emissions to thirty percent below 1990 levels by the year 2012 and becoming 100 percent emission-free by 2020.” SFMTA recently purchased 86 Daimler-Chrysler Commercial Buses of North America (DCCBNA) Orion VII low floor diesel hybrid electric buses (DHEBs).
As “necolepe” informs us, fully electric buses have taken a backseat to hybrid buses in that market. Fully electric buses have an initial cost of about 50% more than a standard bus and they require recharging stations. This high initial cost is most likely the source of hesitation towards using electric buses. Although, once employed it would certainly be a cheaper option because the cost of fuel would be eliminated. There are hybrid and electric engines that use kinetic energy generated from braking, by storing the energy and releasing it for the next acceleration. With energy-conserving technology like that the bus may not require much recharge throughout a day of service. Electric buses have the potential to play a large role once initiated.
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