Electric buses are growing in popularity around the world, for a range of different reasons:
- Lower operational costs. Electricity as a fuel is much cheaper than diesel per kilometre. In addition, the maintenance costs of electric buses are a fraction of the cost of those for diesel buses.
- Zero greenhouse gas emissions when powered from renewable energy. Even if powered from standard grid electricity, greenhouse gas emissions will be lower than a diesel bus as a result of the efficiency of the electric drivetrain. Introducing electric bus fleets powered by renewable energy is a cost-effective way for states and cities to lower transport-related greenhouse gas emissions.
- Improved urban air quality. Whatever the source of the power, electric buses have no diesel exhaust emissions. There are both amenity advantages (no unpleasant diesel exhaust smell) as well as human health advantages with increasing understanding of the health impacts of vehicle pollution, including the carcinogenic properties of diesel particulates. These benefits are most apparent at bus termini and busy bus stops where many buses stand idling.
- Reduced environmental noise. Electric buses provide a significant reduction in noise compared to a diesel, with no exhaust noise at all.In fact, some may be concerned that electric vehicles may be too quiet and might pose a threat to pedestrians and cyclists. Avass buses can be equipped with low-speed audible warnings if requested.
- No diesel storage at bus depots. When an entire bus depot converts to electric, there is no need for diesel to be stored on site, no need for diesel deliveries and no risk of spills or land contamination. This saves money, frees up space and reduces risk.
- A better passenger experience. Evidence suggests people like electric buses. Apart from not being smelly, they are quiet and very smooth, meaning passengers are more likely to be able to use laptops, for example, on the way to work. Avass buses can be equipped with wi-fi and USB charging sockets.
- Because people like electric buses, they are more likely to leave their cars at home and use them to get to work. Any growth in bus patronage thereby further reduces transport emissions (by replacing a car on the road by an extra person on a bus), reduces traffic congestion and increases public transport fare revenue.
- Training mechanics in the skills of the future. The global automotive industry is moving rapidly towards electrification. Training today’s workers in electric vehicle operation and maintenance gives them transferable skills for the future.
- Better utilisation of local energy networks. Whether powered by renewables or fossil fuels, using electricity as a fuel supports local energy sector jobs and gets a better return on the investment in electricity generation and distribution assets. In addition, oil-based fuel imports are reduced.