The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Board of Directors approved a contract with BYD Motors for the manufacture and delivery of up to 25 new all-electric buses as part of a $30 million clean air bus technology pilot project.
I looked at this in detail several years ago. I compared several types of small vehicles including gas, hybrids, pure electric and the volt. The question was payback. The Leaf did quite well especially for owners who had access to free charging at work. It is certainly not for everyone but some can do very well with it. CNG has lower fuel costs but limited fueling options plus it carries at least a 6K price premium.
An electric car makes a lot of sense for short distance, stop and go driving, in a place like NYC where I live. Beyond that, the equation changes. Electric cars don't have the distance capabilities gasoline engines have, the charging infrastructure doesn't exist, and you can refill a gas tank a lot faster than you can recharge an electric car's batteries. If I were someone like Zipcar, I might consider getting some to rent, but I'm dubious about how many locals might buy one.
And while I expect the technology to improve, I don't ever expect to see an electric 18 wheeler.
I know one guy who owns a Volt, and I'll have to ask him about his reasons and experience. He's a tech. so I suppose the geek factor was a major reason.
Another question for him will be the impact of charging on his electric bill.
The one thing no one talks about is that a 100% EV uses more fossil fuel than a normal gas powered vehicle. It takes energy to charge your EV up and more than likely that comes from a coal powered electric plant.
The ony reason Honda, GM and FORD et Al. are pushing EVs are because of laws. They are literally giving them away on CA because there is a state law that X% of a company's cars have to be zero emission or they cannot sell regular cars in CA. The EV is not ready for prime time. It is being forced on the public by laws that are impossible to follow except by selling EVs below cost.
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.