Updated: Sep 4, 2018
New York City MTA has a large bus fleet for public transportation. Their goal: to have all buses electric by 2040. This may seem like it is combating climate change, but is it really? The emissions are not reduced to 0. But how is this?
The sign on this bus, "Zero Emissions," is correct. Electric vehicles don't release any emissions. However, they use electricity, and this electricity has to be produced. Currently, New York City is widely powered by NON-RENEWABLE energy. This releases greenhouse gas emissions, which we know is the cause of climate change. The MTA has 5,700 buses, and energy has to produced for all of these buses, contributing to the overall greenhouse effect.
A Step Forward
While there is a major problem with switching to electric vehicles, it is a step forward. Cars emissions are a slightly larger cause, so switching to electric vehicles is better than non-electric buses. In fact, New York City buses idle more than other cities, according to the NYC Transit President, causing their engines to release more emissions.
There is also a solution. The New York City MTA should keep their bus fleet electric, but they should also switch to 100% renewable energy. Therefore, there would actually be 0 emissions from the NYC bus fleet, and from the New York electric grid.