It’s official: Long Beach is the proud owner of ten zero-emission electric buses as Long Beach Transit (LBT) debuted the two of the buses this Monday.
Come the end of November, LBT plans on having all the entire $11M fleet up and running on DTLB’s Passport route that runs throughout from Pine to the waterfront and Queen Mary.
In addition to the purchase of the fleet, LBT approved a wireless charging system from Utah-based Wireless Advanced Vehicle Electrification Inc. to be installed near the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center along Pine Avenue. The construction of that project will be headed by Culver City-based Fast-Track Construction Corp. In addition, the LBT board awarded another contract to Chatsworth-based Eco Energy Solutions Inc.to build a parking lot and charging station for the new vehicles at LBT’s headquarters along Anaheim in Cambodia Town.
Applause should be given to LBT for making the effort to create a zero-emissions route—and LBT’s Chief Executive Kenneth McDonald said he wants an entirely clean fleet by 2020. The decision to finally take LBT’s Passport route in DTLB—the route that largely caters to conventioneers, workers, and tourists, and is free—entirely electric is a bold one. (Other routes were possible contenders included the 45, 46, 81, 111, 112, 121, 151, and 171; however, capacity and wireless charger locations ultimately gave the Passport the edge.)
The benefits of electric buses are, as mentioned, zero emissions—and we mean true zero emissions—along with a decrease in noise pollution and a smoother, quieter ride. Even more, given that electricity rates are increasing at some 2% per year versus crude oil increasing at 8%, municipalities can save a good chunk of change, while simultaneously keeping the money in-state rather than abroad since electricity money is generated typically in-state. To top it all off, there are the cheaper maintenance costs: an electric bus’s centered maintenance point is replacing a battery.