Are Electric Buses the Next Step in Innovation?

Charter bus services at the University of Georgia could be seeing an upgrade soon that could make them significantly more environmentally friendly. The officials at the university are looking into a switch to electric buses.

The buses come with many benefits, two of the most noticeable being their eco-friendliness and the fact that they are much quieter than traditional buses. These buses also provide a much smoother ride for passengers, due to a decreased need for braking since the mechanics of the engine act as a brake when the bus slows down. It can also store energy when braking, making the bus even more efficient.

After a demonstration on the UGA campus, many were sold on their effectiveness. With all of these great features in addition to the fact that they produce no carbon dioxide emissions, it’s hard to say no. The only factor standing in the way for UGA is an awaited grant. If they can secure the grant, they would retire almost all buses dating from before 2007. If this happened, not only would the electric buses cut down on emissions, so would the other buses they use. Starting in 2007, federal regulations forced buses to become more efficient, causing less pollution. If the grant comes through, UGA students can see these changes as early as 2017.

There are 100 other electric buses providing charter bus service in the U.S. currently, and that number is set to increase within the next few years. With a growing concern for the environment, charter bus services are looking to make changes to their fleets. We already know that riding a bus in general is better than each individual person driving a car — charter bus trips get more than 206 passenger miles per gallon while cars get roughly 27.2 — but now they’re going one step further. With electric buses, the benefits of bus travel are clear cut and almost completely un-problematic. They are the future of an already effective and growing industry with a growth rate of about 7.5%. Keep an eye on the industry in the coming years — interesting things are happening.