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>> With a sharp drop in battery prices and ranges approaching 300 miles on a single charge, it would seem like the right time for mass transit agencies to make the switch to electric-powered buses instead of buses running on diesel or natural gas. But that's not always the case.
>> I'm Reuters' correspondent Nichola Groom, and I'm sitting on an electric bus in Pomona, California. We are waiting for the bus to charge, so that it can get going. It typically takes between five and ten minutes to charge the bus. It charges in the middle of its route.
Foothill Transit agency is one of a very small handful of transit agencies in the US that has committed to only sourcing zero emissions buses by 2030. The other cities that are doing that include Los Angeles and Seattle. However, there are a lot of other transit agencies that are skeptical about battery electric buses and have said that they want the technology to improve before they will commit to sourcing larger amounts of battery electric buses.
All electric buses typically can cost twice as much as a diesel bus. You do save on maintenance and obviously, fuel costs throughout the lifetime of the bus, but that's still a hefty upfront cost for transit agencies which have very tight budgets. And they rely on the federal government for most of their funding.
>> But electric bus makers are still optimistic they can get bigger fleets on the roads. Today, there are only about 300 electric buses on the roads in the US. But ambitious electric bus makers believe that by 2030, all new bus sales will be electric.