Addressing climate change is to reduce air pollution. And one of the smartest ways to reduce air pollution is to gradually replace natural gas buses with electric buses.
However, the many benefits brought on by bus electrical also bring on its share of challenges. Yet, reducing the levels of air pollution is the top benefit that is gained with the use of electric buses.
The multiple benefits provided by electric buses include:
- Generating electricity during braking with the combined regenerative braking system feature of electric buses
- 25% lower maintenance cost compared to maintaining the cost of diesel-run buses. The level of services required for electric buses is significantly lower than the needs of diesel engines.
- Environmental noise reduction with the quieter electric engine of electric buses. The reduced sound levels not only help to reduce environmental noise; travelling on an electric bus provides travellers a more pleasant and relaxing experience.
- Energy losses are way lower in electric buses compared to the energy losses of diesel-run buses. A diesel-run bus ride costs more per kilometre than an electric bus travelling the same route and distance.
- Convenience is maximised when sourcing for fuel to power the buses is no longer needed. Electric buses only need to be connected to a local power grid when they need to be recharged. Bus company owners can invest in their own power source by setting up solar panels as a time and money-saving alternative for powering their electric buses.
- Diesel fumes are hazardous to health. Diesel buses add more to degrading the environment as they move around highly urbanised areas. The elderly and children without access to private transport are at particular risk when exposed to daily carcinogen fumes from diesel-run public buses. Changing to electric-driven buses becomes a compelling reason for public transportation companies to implement them.
- Battery-powered electric buses provide more convenience to the environment and the owners of public bus companies as well. Being energy-efficient makes the battery-powered electric buses the best fleets to protect the health of both the environment and the general public.
The multiple benefits also bring on challenges with bus electrical that often hinder people from using them. Some of the inconveniences that often stop bus companies from switching to a fleet of electric buses include:
- Electric buses are pricier compared to diesel buses. However, the need to do something for the climate and the environment by way of electric buses could sooner make the price go down.
- Energy system adjustments with the areas where buses operate.
- The driving distance is often compromised when electric buses are dependent on conventional charging systems. It’s quite expensive for bus companies to invest in charging systems that allow long-distance driving for electric buses.
- The wide variety of energy system parameters of electric buses has to be set up and built to meet the demands.
- Delays and malfunctions can only be prevented from happening with the implementation of excellent real-time energy system monitoring.
The costs and efforts needed during the initial stages of using electric buses are justified when the quality of life and environment is at stake. The high cost of electric buses is expected to go down with the current demand of various states to have them become the mode of public and private transportation.