According to the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) plans to spend between $30 million and $40 million to buy up to 30 new all-electric buses over the next several years.
The CTA already runs two 40-foot electric buses, powered by lithium-ion batteries. These buses have carried about 100,000 passengers on 13 routes since October 2014.
Officials say that the buses have so far reduced emissions an amount that is equal to removing 14 automobiles from the road. The smooth, quiet ride is also cited as an advantage of the electric vehicles.
The CTA is hopeful that the electric buses will save $25,000 in fuel a year, which comes out to about $300,000 over the 12-year lifespan of a single bus. The byproduct of the reduced emissions is also projected to create $55,000 a year in “health benefit saving” by reducing respiratory disease.
ABC 7 News in Chicago reports that the CTA is the first major public transit agency to incorporate all-electric buses into the daily service of their transit systems. It is reported that the funding for the buses will come from the use of federal grants.
As the environmental movement continues to grow, and city and state governments embrace more green initiatives, electric vehicles and energy sources are finding a more open market for their wares. This could mean good news for the 371,700 employees of the nation’s 7,791 electric equipment, appliance, and component manufacturing establishments as of 2015.
The buses can travel an impressive 80 miles on one charge; an average CTA bus travels about 100 miles a day. The CTA hopes to install en-route charging stations, so buses won’t have to deviate from their routes to recharge.