Jul 31, 2017
Los Angeles’ Metro, the second largest transit agency in the U.S., plans to replace its 2,300 natural gas buses with electric buses by 2030. The price tag for this replacement is 138 million dollars for Los Angeles tax payers.
Currently, the cost of an electric bus is reportedly about $775,000, at least $200,000 more than its natural-gas counterpart. This bus cost does not include infrastructure upgrades and charging stations, which can easily jack up the total cost.
Metro tested five such electric buses in 2015-2016. The buses were not able to climb hills, and their batteries discharged more frequently than expected. For these reasons, Metro concluded, “To date, performance has not met operational requirements, mechanical reliability has been subpar compared to typical [natural gas] vehicles, and ... [their current technological level has] made these five vehicles an ill fit for current Metro operation.” Metro had to return those buses to their manufacturer.
It’s obvious that city officials are carrying out testing of electric buses for the benefit of the companies – at the expense of tax payers and bus riders.
All their talk about “cleaner air” and “less noisy environment” can’t hide that. The real deal is simply to make a few companies that much richer.