Electric vehicle (EV) technology is better than ever. This is especially true when it comes to mass transit. The electric transportation vehicle is safe, economical, and excels at medium distance travel. When it comes to public transportation, EVs are a no-brainer. That is why they’re taking over the world.
The Electric Transportation Vehicle: It’s Already Here
Certain kinds of transportation, like trolleys or trams, have run on electricity for decades. But other forms of mass transit are going electric at an astonishing rate. Buses, in particular, seem to be the next big frontier. And governments large and small are jumping on the electric bus bandwagon. Marketplace reports that some American bus companies are having a hard time keeping up with demand for electric busses. And that’s as good for business as it is for the environment.
China purchased 200,000 electric buses in 2017. American cities, including Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia, and New York also added large numbers of electric buses to their fleets. Even Dallas, in the heart of oil country, is investing in electric transport vehicles.
Matt Horton believes that ten percent of all U.S. bus sales in 2018 will be electric. He also believes that buses will be the first form of mass transit to go all electric. And Horton should know. As the chief commercial officer for Proterra, his job is to sell electric buses to governments. Horton believes that buses are the future for the electric transport vehicle. Specifically driverless buses.
Academics are on board as well. UC Davis researchers believe that when it comes to mass transit, electric transport vehicles will:
- Help the environment
- Cut transportation costs
- Decrease traffic and decongest freeways
- Free up parking spaces, and
- Improve walkability and livability in urban areas.
And can we talk about savings? An electric bus is initially more expensive than a bus that runs on diesel ($800,000 compared to around $500,000). And that doesn’t include charging stations or the mattress-sized battery packs needed to power an electric bus. However, a study from Columbia University found that electric busses will more than pay for themselves in fuel savings alone. Savings which come to $39,000 per year over the typical twelve-year life of a city bus. No wonder cities are so eager to make the switch.
Other Types of Electric Transport Vehicles
The electric transportation vehicle comes in two basic flavors: battery-powered and plug-in hybrid. Both are popular choices. Which one will prove most popular in the end? Who knows. But it will be exciting to watch the contest.
Battery Electric Motor Vehicles
Battery powered EVs are finding their niche with short and medium distance travel. Because current battery technology can only provide a limited range, electric transport vehicles are ideal for city travel. As for long-distance public transport, well, technology hasn’t caught up with demand yet.
Under current technology, battery-powered buses can go around 124 miles between charges. This makes them cheaper to run than traditional diesel buses. Not to mention the fact that there’s a lot of braking in city driving. Battery electric buses can recycle a lot of the energy spent braking back into the battery. This not only makes good economic sense but also saves wear on the brakes.
The Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle
The plug-in hybrid electric vehicle has also proven a popular choice for mass transit. There’s a surprisingly long list of cities all over the world that have invested in plug-in hybrids. And the United States and Canada are leading the pack. You might expect to see places like San Francisco, Portland, and Minneapolis jumping to convert to electric. But would it surprise you to find an electric transportation vehicle in Lubbock, Texas? Or how about Honolulu or Mumbai? The plug-in hybrid electric vehicle is here, there, and everywhere. And it looks like they’re there to stay.
Like buses, taxis are an ideal format for electric transportation vehicles. All across Europe, cities are banning diesel vehicles from their center districts. A number of cities, including London and Edinburgh, have embraced electric taxis. Madrid currently has the world’s largest electric taxi fleet. Rome, Barcelona, and other cities have followed suit. Most notably in South America. Electric transport vehicle company LEVC has released a new version of London’s famous black cabs, starting at around 56,000 GBP each (around $78,960). It may sound steep, but drivers will be eligible to recoup $10,500 of that through an EU electric taxi grant. Drivers will also save nearly $150 per week on running costs.
In the United States, New York City is starting an electric taxi pilot program. It seems strange that the United States should lag behind in this area. After all, more than one hundred years ago, all of New York City’s taxis ran on electricity. But perhaps the program will prove successful, and once more New York City will lead the world in electric taxis.
Two-Wheel Electric Transport
What comes to your mind when you hear the term ‘two-wheel electric transport’? Is it something like this adorable little one passenger vehicle from Lit Motors?
This tiny, hard-shelled electric powerhouse was born of a near-death experience. Lit Motors founder Danny Kim was working beneath a five hundred pound chassis when it fell on him. The experience led him to question why he was building such a large vehicle when most people drove alone. The result was the C-1, a one-person enclosed electric transport vehicle. The C-1 isn’t on the market yet, but the company is presently taking pre-orders.
Or perhaps, for you, two-wheel electric transport means a Segway.
The Segway has taken over beach pathways and city sidewalks. They’re ideal for foot patrol officers, community helpers, and others. But they also make terrific vehicles for transporting groups of tourists. In addition to being a fun way for anyone to get around, this two-wheel electric transport vehicle is a good option for people who, for various reasons, are unable to walk long distances. This nifty gadget will run you around $300 for a hoverboard to several thousand dollars.
Or maybe you prefer an e-Bike?
With a list of benefits a mile long, and none of the drawbacks of a motorcycle or moped, e-bikes are poised to take city streets by storm. With an e-bike, you get plenty of exercise — with an assist when you need it, like up steep hills. In addition, you won’t have to worry about licensing, registration, gas, vehicle checks, or parking. This is one electric transport vehicle you’re going to want to own. Prices for e-Bikes range from the price of a high quality traditional bicycle — around $1,200 — to three times that. But if you want something that can go seamlessly from exercise to moped, this gadget may be for you.
Whatever your flavor, two-wheel electric transport options are making getting around fun again. In addition, they’re turning transportation on its head — whether for group transport, or for one person getting from point A to point B.
What Were They Thinking?
The electric transportation vehicle can be whimsical, as well as practical. Check out some of these amazing vehicles from around the world. Take the all-electric Eco Rickshaw, for instance. Rickshaws are a common form of taxi-like transport in India and Asia. They’re normally human-powered, but that is starting to change.
It’s easy to find a parking spot with this cute little three-wheeler from Switzerland.
Check out this little cutie from Norway. Norway currently leads the world in the use of electric cars and electric transportation vehicles.
The electric transportation vehicle is revolutionizing the way people get around. Battery powered EVs and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are perfectly suited for the stop-start traffic in cities. In addition, they are ideal for medium distance travel. It’s no wonder that cities around the world are rushing to adopt electric transport vehicles for their mass transit systems.
Experts believe that electric powered mass transit will reduce pollution and traffic. In addition, it will free up parking spaces, and make congested city centers more walkable, and much more pleasant to live in. The future is bright for the electric transportation vehicle, both on a mass scale, and at the individual level. The world is ready for clean, cheap, renewably powered transportation. And we are too.
Featured Image CC by 0, by Pixabay, via Pexels