As of December 11th, the Dutch cities of Eindhoven and Helmond will not have a single public bus running on diesel. In fact, all 43, extra-long articulated buses will be entirely electric. This feels like a pretty big deal. Coming so soon after London committed to making all new single decker city center buses entirely emission free, starting immediately, and after Paris, Athens, Madrid and Mexico City committed to phasing out all diesel vehicles by 2025, it really seems like there's momentum toward finally cleaning up the air in cities across the world. Amsterdam, too, is planning on all electric buses by 2025 at the latest.
It's starting to feel like vehicle manufacturers will have little choice but to cater to the modern, clean city. And that means ramping up their game on low and zero emission vehicles—regardless of what obstacles some politicians might seek to put in their way.
Of course, these are early days for all-electric buses. So folks will be watching this Dutch initiative closely for any problems. Here's more from the press release about how the operator, Transdev, plans to tackle range anxiety (is anxiety still the term when public bus operators are concerned?):
Transdev, first mover in zero emission public transport, commences operating the fleet on December 11th. One of the biggest problems the company had to solve was the limited operational radius of the buses. Transdev tackles this problem through a combination of ultra-fast charging technology and an innovative rotation system.
Buses that run out during the day, can be charged within half an hour. The bus terminus in Eindhoven has been converted from a single diesel garage into a charging garage, containing 43 charging points. The buses are equipped with a type of pantograph - known for trams and trolleybuses - which can make contact with the charging point. This construction was never used at this scale in The Netherlands.
I confess, this story has me pretty excited. TreeHugger has always been a fan of modern public transit. And we're pretty fond of electric vehicles too. When the two come together, it's nothing short of awesome.