New York City will transition to 100% electric school buses by 2035

The New York City Council voted 44 to 1 to require all city-owned school buses to be battery-electric by September 1, 2035. Currently, the city operates 885 diesel-powered school buses . The council’s action was spurred by a new law signed by Governor Hochul last month that bans the sale of light-duty gasoline and diesel vehicles in New York state after the year 2035.

There is a caveat in the new electric school bus policy. It is “subject to the commercial availability and reliability of all electric school buses, as well as the technical and physical availability of related planned infrastructure”. Given the state’s interest in having a zero-emissions transportation sector, it’s likely that the required infrastructure will be built over the next 14 years, We Go Electric says.

The city estimates that converting its school bus fleet to electric buses and acquiring the necessary electric charging stations and electrical infrastructure will cost a total of $367.3 million by 2035. of the bus mandate, the city has also already decided that non-emergency fleet vehicles must be electric by 2040. The new law also requires all parking lots in the city’s 5 boroughs to include battery chargers. electric vehicles for a minimum of 20% of available parking spaces.

In smoke

We are dedicated advocates of the electric vehicle revolution here at Clean Technica, but that doesn’t mean we have to hide our heads in the sand. There is worrying news from Germany this week about a number of fires involving electric buses in Düsseldorf, Hannover and Stuttgart. The Stuttgart fire happened recently and all electric buses in this city have been withdrawn from service until the cause of the fire is known. The first bus to catch fire was loaded at that time.

The resulting fire destroyed 25 buses – 23 conventional units and 2 electric batteries – according to Algulf. Six people were injured in the Stuttgart blaze, two of whom were taken to hospital after inhaling smoke. The losses due to the fire amount to millions of dollars.

On June 5, a fire in a bus depot in Hanover destroyed five electric buses, two hybrid buses, one diesel bus and one coach. The electric buses in this city were later withdrawn from service, but are expected to return to service on November 1.

Last April, a fire at a bus depot in Düsseldorf destroyed 38 buses and the depot building, causing millions more damage. Experts from the Düsseldorf public prosecutor’s office concluded in June that the fire had an undetermined technical cause. The depot had only recently installed charging equipment for electric buses.

Did you know about these fires? No? We neither. 12 battery fires in Chevy Bolts have made headlines around the world and will cost LG Chem nearly $2 billion. More than 70 buses have burned in Germany this year, but there have been hardly any reports about it. And why only in Germany and not in other countries? There are so many more electric buses in China than Germany’s total would seem insignificant.

Clearly, battery manufacturers need to address the battery fire issue as quickly as possible to avoid a major impediment to the electric vehicle revolution. LFP batteries may not have the energy density of conventional lithium-ion batteries, but they have a much lower fire risk (BYD Blade Battery has reduced this risk to almost zero.)


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