Magic Bus

Speaking of electric vehicles… Possibly the dumbest thing any country could do from an energy standpoint is to promote widespread use of electric vehicles, while simultaneously mandating reliance on wind and solar energy, which work less than half the time.

Moreover, governments’ politically-motivated reliance on electric vehicles like buses has been a disaster. This is a typical “green” fiasco:

More than two dozen electric Proterra buses first unveiled by the city of Philadelphia in 2016 are already out of operation, according to a WHYY investigation.

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.
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The city paid $24 million for the 25 new Proterra buses, subsidized in part by a $2.6 million federal grant.

There is no sane reason for any government to buy, let alone subsidize, these vehicles. It is crony corruption, pure and simple.

Proterra, which had Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on its board of directors when Philadelphia pulled the buses off the streets last year…

Exactly.

…has been highlighted by the Biden administration as a business of the future. President Joe Biden visited the company’s factory in April and pledged in his initial infrastructure package proposal to include federal money for the electric vehicle market. The company has since been touted by top officials including White House climate adviser Gina McCarthy, who in a public meeting asked Proterra’s CEO how the federal government could spur demand for Proterra buses.

It would help, I suppose, if they actually worked. But practicality is optional if you are “green.” Enormous amounts of money are being made at the expense of taxpayers and ratepayers.

On a recent trip by Biden to La Crosse, Wis., it was revealed that two buses the city ordered from Proterra for $1.5 million in 2018 have still not been delivered. Over the past five days, Proterra’s stock price has fallen over 25 percent.

Battery capacity is a huge issue with electric vehicles:

Philadelphia placed the Proterra buses in areas where it thought they could succeed but quickly learned it was mistaken. Two pilot routes selected in South Philadelphia that were relatively short and flat compared with others in the city were too much for the electric buses.

“Even those routes needed buses to pull around 100 miles each day, while the Proterras were averaging just 30 to 50 miles per charge,” WHYY reporter Ryan Briggs wrote.

Thirty to fifty miles! Pathetic. Other cities that have fallen for the electric bus scam have seen similar results:

Similar problems have been found in other cities that partnered with Proterra. Duluth, Minn., which, like Philadelphia, waited three years for its Proterra buses to be delivered, ultimately pulled its seven buses from service “because their braking systems were struggling on Duluth’s hills, and a software problem was causing them to roll back when accelerating uphill from a standstill,” according to the Duluth Monitor.

By rights, companies like Proterra should be subject to massive consumer and securities fraud lawsuits, and maybe they will be. But political muscle goes a long way, and Proterra and its ilk are darlings of the Biden administration and the Democratic Party in general.

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