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Amsterdam Public Transit's Big Move to All-Electric

Europe is well known for electric powered trams and trains, but cities still operate diesel buses, just like in the United States. That will change in Amsterdam—all diesel buses will be replaced by battery-electrics by 2025, reports Dutch News.
April 22, 2015, 10am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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Transit agencies are known to experiment with zero-emission buses, particularly if enabled by state and federal grants in the United States and Europe [see below]. That's the path Amsterdam took, until now. 

This project means we are saying goodbye to symbolic behaviour and pilot projects,’ the city’s transport alderman Abdeluheb Choho told the Volkskrant. ‘We have decided to just do it, not to experiment with five buses.’


GVB bus. Credit: Wikimedia Commons/LennartBolks

"The first batch of 40 buses will be replaced by electric vehicles in two years’ time and by 2025 the entire fleet will be electric," according to Dutch News (DN).

And why stop with buses? "The ferries over the IJ between the city centre and Noord will also be powered by green electricity," adds DN. These ferries are also operated by the city's transit agency, GVB.

GVB "will generate the necessary electricity itself by solar panels on their own buildings," writes Janene Van Jaarsveld of NL Times. "An initial investigation shows that the GVB has enough space for 2,300 solar panels, which can meet the energy needs of 250 households. [Amsterdam] will investigate how solar panels can be installed on the roofs of underground train stations."

Alderman Choho thinks the collaboration with the GVB will be an example for others. “We will make Amsterdam more sustainable on a large scale, and we do that with partners who have big ambitions. Front-runners such as the GVB deserve a podium and imitation.”

I could not find the manufacturer of the electric buses that GVB will purchase. Note electric buses manufactured by Proterra, a South Carolina-based electric bus manufacturer, operated by the San Joaquin RTD in Stockton, Calif. since 2013, thanks to a California Energy Commission grant.

On April 8, the CEC "awarded a $3 million grant to Proterra to fund the design, development and construction of a new electric bus manufacturing line," writes Charles Morris of Charged. "The project will also receive $5.4 million in private investment" and be located in the City of Industry.

Finally, on February 5, the  Federal Transit Administration "announced the selection of 10 projects that will receive a share of $55 million in competitive grants that will help put a new generation of advanced, non-polluting transit buses on the road in communities nationwide," states their news release.

Hat tip to Darrell Clark, Sierra Club Electric Vehicles Campaign

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Published on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 in Dutch News.nl
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