The commitment to ditch fossil fuels must start in earnest and head-on. Electrifying the school bus fleet is low-hanging fruit in achieving decarbonization by 2045. This is literally and figuratively where the rubber hits the road. 

The technology is available and will only improve with large commitments of purchases, which can be done by the State of Maine. Indeed the commitment to decarbonize by 2045 makes the business-as-usual purchase of fossil fuel buses no longer an option. Yes, the purchase price of these buses are about twice to three times that of fossil fuel buses, but, importantly maintenance costs are 1/9 that of fossil fuel buses, and this ends up realizing long-term savings. 

Yes, it it saves money to make the switch to electric. 

My own efforts to electrify the local South Portland School bus fleet have been warmly received, but not warmly enough (yet) to make it happen. The budget cycle is under way and resistance to electrification of the fleet may yet yield to progress.

But the great news is that an emergency bill in the Legislature was introduced this session by Senator Vitelli from Sagadahoc with several co-sponsors to accomplish this legislative goal. See the bill status here:

I am urging a few amendments be made to this bill to move the “transition” deadline up from 2040 to 2025, and to make it less of an ‘incentive’ process, and more of an expectation. 

Why? Because the 20-year lifespan of a bus means that purchases made in 2025 for fossil fuel buses will be go beyond the 2045 decarbonization goal. I will encourage amending the current bill to require a depreciation schedule termination at 2045, of any new fossil fuel bus purchases. 

In 2045 we will see older fossil fuel buses as antiquated, like steam engines are today. This is what the better world of 2045 must be. 

See Eben Rose Webpage: https://www.ebenrose.com/
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