Your trusty local bus might be getting a makeover. Towns all over the world are testing out electric buses. All of the Park and Ride buses in York are electric, Paris boasts the first open top, double-decker, sightseeing tour bus and Shenzhen, China has electrified all 16,000 buses in the city.
At first glance, they look like regular buses. But they have hidden depths - including a few new features that mean a whole host of activities you’ve probably never thought of doing on the bus are suddenly open to you.
Obviously if you’re from the friendly north or midlands you do this all the time. But electric buses have waaay quieter engines than regular buses. Which means more opportunities to have a chat to your neighbour! Perhaps that’ll encourage some southern city-dwellers to get to know their bus buddies... but that might be asking too much.
The nice quiet engine also means you might actually be able to hear the music blasting through your headphones. You could even turn it down and save your eardrums a little. But why stop there? In Sweden they artists performed surprise acoustic concerts on their new electric buses. All together now: the wheels on the bus go round and round….
Electric buses are way smoother on the road than regular diesel buses. That should mean less juddering up and down (depending what the roads are like near you of course!). So juggling is IN, as is knitting, colouring books and using your neatest writing for your Nan’s birthday card.
Admittedly, you have probably done this before on a bus. But electric buses don’t pump out pollution like diesel ones, so the air you’re breathing in will be nice and clean. In big cities, that should make a difference to air pollution all over the area. It also means if you’re a cyclist, riding near buses won’t send fumes in your direction. Go on, take a big sigh of relief.
Tackling climate change
Just by getting on an electric bus, you’re helping to bust climate change. Electric buses don’t spill climate-changing fumes out of their exhaust pipes. Charging the electric bus uses regular electricity, which is already a quarter renewable - and rising all the time. And the more people taking buses, the less people driving fossil fuel-guzzling cars and motorcycles on the road. Something to think about when you’re next squished onto a bus at 7:30 in the morning.
This blog post was funded by our pals at Ben & Jerry's. Photo: Julian Walker, cc.