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SOLUTIONS: University electric buses

By Huck Fairman

Princeton University’s first all-electric bus arrived in late October. It is an important step by the university toward reaching net-zero emissions, its goal for 2046 or sooner. This was the first of 17 scheduled to arrive by the end of February, and it will hopefully serve as an inspiration and influence for other bus fleets.

Head of Transportation and Parking Services, Charlie Tennyson noted that this is a wise investment when compared to the cost and emissions of operating diesel buses. And it is first among Ivy League bus services to operate an electric fleet.

The first bus will be used primarily for training, but the other part of the fleet will be arriving between December and April. The last diesel buses will be removed from service by the start of the next academic year. This transformation will eliminate approximately 500 tons of emissions over a year and will reduce “small particulate matter” in the air. This helps those with asthma and lung problems. The buses run more quietly and can travel approximately 200 miles on a charge. While the manufacture of the buses is not carbon free, their presence will improve the local air quality and encourage other manufacturers to reduce emissions, all of which can be part of a national effort to reduce emissions. The buses seat 26 passenger and have USB charging for riders’ needs. They will accommodate wheelchair passengers and other passenger needs.

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