U.S. Electric Bus Demand Outpaces Production as Cities Add to Their Fleets

As cities and states across the country set ambitious mid-century climate change goals for the first time and as prices for lithium-ion batteries plummet, a growing number of transit agencies are stepping up efforts to replace dirtier diesel buses with electric ones. Nearly every state has a transit agency that now owns—or will soon own—at least one electric bus, according to a recent report from CALSTART, a clean transportation advocacy group.

County Sustainability Group

Cities are still working through early challenges, but they see health and climate benefits ahead. In Chicago, two buses save the city $24,000 a year in fuel costs.

BYD electric bus factory in Lancaster, California. Credit: Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty ImagesChina’s BYD electric bus company has a factory in Lancaster, California. While the vast majority of the world’s electric buses are in China, the U.S. numbers are growing. Credit: Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

In the coastal city of Gulfport, Mississippi, the state’s first fully-electric bus will soon be cruising through the city’s downtown streets.

The same goes for Portland, Maine—it just received a grant to buy that state’s first two e-buses, which are set to roll out in 2021. And Wichita expects to have Kansas’ first operating electric bus picking up passengers as early as this month after receiving a federal grant.

As cities and states across the country set ambitious mid-century climate change goals for the first time…

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