Monday, July 9, 2018

The coming electric bus

"So bring on these bright, shiny new electric buses! I will not be riding on them, but it will be nice not to smell anymore bus exhaust. But that will be start of the new transportation revolution."  

With all the changes coming in the next few years concerning our transportation, buses to date have not been discussed too much. Not that things are not happening. Even in this upper Midwest burg of Minneapolis, the morning paper proclaimed the first eight electric buses are on order. What will be interesting, is to see how this changeover to electric buses will co-mingle with the driver-less people movers which we saw during last February's Super Bowl. 

Washington DC and New York City have also committed to a complete change over to electric buses. After being in the nation's capitol over 250 times on business and military, boy do they need a change over! And New York, with its fleet of almost 6,000 buses, wants to have this changeover done within two decades. 

The newer bus design seems to have solved one of the big bugaboos with electric transportation - frequent charging. The new buses can make it all day, and then recharge at night in the bus depot. I wish my former cell phone could have handled that much charge! In any event, as the Met Council in the Twin Cities is still trying to get the SWLRT built out, all kinds of other transportation options are starting to pop up.

According to tech publications, GM is still planning on having a go to market, electric autonomous car out by 2019. Hey - that is next year! In fact, besides GM, Ford, and a host of other car manufacturers, have seen the writing on the wall. They also are planning go have to market cars out in the very near future.

By 2025, we will have electric buses, driver-less people movers, and driver-less cars all over the place. And the LRTs with their static routes and static schedules? They will have met the fate of technical obsolescence. Put out to pasture by Millennial's, trained in the convenience of Uber.

Many of my blog readers hate it when I write about this. They like driving their trucks and SUV's and pulling a rig. Hey - me too! But call it a cabal or what, all the auto makers are headed towards this new world in transportation. The "Google World" as some call it. Plus - as some futurists believe, it won't stop there.

Many believe this short stop in transportation will take us from gasoline and diesel to natural gas and electricity. But that is not the "holy grail". That would be a go-to-market fuel cell in our driver-less cars. Cars which can run on - the hydrogen extracted from water. But the deep thinkers in the futurist world, don't think that will be the next step. The final step would be the mysterious and yet unproven world of "dark energy". After that, we need go no further.

So bring on these bright, shiny new electric buses! I will not be riding on them, but it will be nice not to smell anymore bus exhaust. But that will be start of the new transportation revolution. Most everything (with some exceptions) by 2025. Read some of the tech blogs on this issue. It is coming and coming fast.  


  1. Big order to give to a Canadian company during these contentious times. Can't look a gift (our taxes) horse from the feds in the mouth. At least they are assembled in MN, even if profits go north.
    Still banking on 2025 I see. Hope I live to see if you're right. Life Cycle changes in technology come faster and faster, so you may be right on the money.

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