Over on the web site of the excellent publication, the Washington Free Beacon, I found what I think is the funniest (not funny ha-ha, but funny tragic) story so far this year. It seems that the Philadelphia-area transit agency, SEPTA, purchased a bunch of battery electric buses from a company called Proterra. The agency spent $24 Million on their fleet of electric buses. From the article:
The entire fleet of Proterra buses was removed from the roads by SEPTA, the city’s transit authority, in February 2020 due to both structural and logistical problems—the weight of the powerful battery was cracking the vehicles’ chassis, and the battery life was insufficient for the city’s bus routes. The city raised the issues with Proterra, which failed to adequately address the city’s concerns.
Now, King County and Seattle, Washington have had a large fleet of electric trolleys in service for decades, with few problems. They do require infrastructure consisting of miles of overhead wires, which the buses attach to, and sometimes get detached from (it’s common to see an electric trolley stranded in the middle of the street, with the driver re-attaching the wands on top to the wires above).
It’s pretty obvious that someone in Philadelphia thought they could burnish the city’s “green” credentials by moving to “clean-energy” electric vehicles, with the approval and some funding from the Feds. Interesting that current Biden Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm has served on Proterra’s Board of Directors; the company has been praised by the Biden administration for years. Too bad they are not performing, and their stock is not doing too well, either.
Citizens of Philadelphia are suckered again. Why do I think they didn’t have much say in the matter, even when their tax dollars have been wasted on the green boondoggle.