Electric Bus Fiasco

Proterra bus, Philadelphia

“Possibly the dumbest thing any country could do from an energy standpoint is to promote widespread use of electric vehicles, while simultaneously mandating reliance on wind and solar energy, which work less than half the time. Moreover, governments’ politically-motivated reliance on electric vehicles like buses has been a disaster. This is a typical ‘green’ fiasco: ‘More than two dozen electric Proterra buses first unveiled by the city of Philadelphia in 2016 are already out of operation, according to a WHYY investigation. The entire fleet of Proterra buses was removed from the roads by SEPTA, the city’s transit authority, in February 2020 due to both structural and logistical problems–the weight of the powerful battery was cracking the vehicles’ chassis, and the battery life was insufficient for the city’s bus routes. The city paid $24 million for the 25 new Proterra buses, subsidized in part by a $2.6 million federal grant.’ There is no sane reason for any government to buy, let alone subsidize, these vehicles. It is crony corruption, pure and simple. ‘Proterra, which had Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on its board of directors when Philadelphia pulled the buses off the streets last year.’ It would help, I suppose, if they actually worked. But practicality is optional if you are ‘green.’ Enormous amounts of money are being made at the expense of taxpayers and ratepayers. Battery capacity is a huge issue with electric vehicles: ‘Philadelphia placed the Proterra buses in areas where it thought they could succeed but quickly learned it was mistaken. Two pilot routes selected in South Philadelphia that were relatively short and flat compared with others in the city were too much for the electric buses. Even those routes needed buses to pull around 100 miles each day, while the Proterras were averaging just 30 to 50 miles per charge,’ WHYY reporter Ryan Briggs wrote.”

“Magic Bus,” PowerLine, July 17, 2021