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Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Electric Buses: Caldwell Helps Al Gore with Billion Dollar IPO
By Selected News Articles @ 8:30 PM :: 7545 Views :: Honolulu County, Ethics, Tax Credits

Al Gore’s Tax Credit Scam – Electric Buses for Oahu?

HNN Jan 31, 2018:

…"A bus like this is 40-feet long, can carry over 70 passengers, and yet gets the equivalent of about 26 miles per gallon which compares to about 4 miles per gallon for a traditional diesel bus," said Matt Horton, chief commercial officer for Proterra….  

(Diesel–electric hybrids get 8mpg and have for some reason been left out of this story, hmmm…) 

The battery electric bus on loan from Proterra, Inc. will be tested on 23 existing routes across Oahu. … 

(Proterra hopes to hype these busses into a billion dollar IPO to pay off Proterra investor Al Gore.)

The purchase price for an electric battery bus is $745,000. Honolulu's diesel buses cost nearly $600,000 each. While the upfront cost is higher, supporters said reduced operating and maintenance costs would lead to long-term savings.

Oahu Transit Services buys 6.5 million gallons of diesel fuel each year. The agency expects that its fuel costs would be cut in half with a switch to an all electric fleet.

(4mpg/26mpg = 15% So why not an 85% reduction in fuel usage?  Sounds like somebody doesn’t really believe the hype.  On the other hand, a shift from 4mpg diesel busses to 8mpg diesel-electric hybrids would …cut fuel usage in half.  What a coincidence!)

On Oahu's roads, there are currently 440 diesel buses and 100 hybrid vehicles, according to Oahu Transit Services.

The city wants to transition its fleet to completely renewable energy sources by 2035.

Horton said that Proterra has more than 150 electric battery buses in cities across America. According to him, agencies generally save up to $400,000 in operating and maintenance costs over the (10 year?) lifetime of the vehicle…..

SA: Omidyar Minions Flack for Al Gore's Billion Dollar IPO Scheme  (Is Omidyar getting a cut?)

read … Pay Off?

What Proterra Employees say:

  • -- “The executives' primary goal is to solicit money from investors to keep the place going, since they lose money on every unit. They only have customers because they get them federal grant money for every unit, so they basically get the product for free.  Also the management is content giving the customers a garbage product. Half the customers I am aware of would love to find some way to get out of the contract since the bus is such a lemon.”
  • “Product needs to be better tested prior to delivery to avoid significant and costly failures in the field.”
  • Glassdoor: “Sales are made whether a product exists or not and engineers are left to slap together something.”
  • "Very unstable company that has yet to generate profit, was bankrupt in 2010, & is surviving on Govt & Investor funding."
  • GreenTech: “1100 miles  -- A publicity stunt.”
  • Seattle: Bus Breaks down on first run.  Needs recharge at end of each route.
  • Chicago: Proterra truck follows bus around with diesel generator to charge batteries.

DSC 0083

Electric bus completes 13 of 23 planned routes in pilot project

News Release from City and County of Honolulu, February 7, 2018

Honolulu – The electric bus on loan from Proterra Inc., which is currently being used as a pilot project on 23 established routes for TheBus, has successfully completed 13 of those routes throughout O‘ahu. O‘ahu Transit Services Inc. manages TheBus and has been using the Proterra electric bus on routes to Hawai‘i Kai, Kailua, Mililani, Wai‘anae and Waimānalo.

Testing of the electric bus is ongoing and will confirm the viability of these vehicles as the City and County of Honolulu transforms its ground fleet to completely renewable energy sources by 2035. Last month, Mayor Kirk Caldwell and mayors from all of the state’s counties announced their pledge to achieve 100 percent renewable ground transportation by 2045 for all vehicles, both public and private.

“Proterra means pro-earth, and I think for us pro-earth means pro-people and pro-Hawai‘i,” Mayor Kirk Caldwell said during a press conference on Tuesday, January 30, as the pilot project was announced. “We want to continue this march of acquiring other electric buses and other alternative energy vehicles. Talk is cheap and its action that counts – this is about implementing.”  

In addition to reducing the city’s carbon footprint, each bus is expected to result in approximately $18,000 in fuel savings every year. While the buses have an approximately 30 percent higher upfront cost to purchase, the reduced operation and maintenance expenses are projected to outweigh the cost.

“Honolulu offers some of the most challenging operating environments in the nation given that our mass transit system covers 97 percent of the island of O‘ahu,” said Councilman Joey Manahan, who is chairman of the Budget Committee. “The successful test-run of the Proterra bus through Honolulu’s mauka-makai and country express routes with mountains, valleys, and coastlines – not to mention our stop-and-go traffic – proves that the transition to an entirely zero-emission fleet is possible, and the time to start deployment is now. Not only are our residents and visitors being treated to a high-performance transit experience of the future with the Proterra electric bus, but by converting conventional diesel buses to 100 percent electric buses the City and County of Honolulu can save up to $400,000 per bus in operation and maintenance costs over the lifetime of each vehicle.”

The routes on TheBus that have completed Proterra testing include the following:

8          –          Waikīkī - Ala Moana
9          –          Pearl Harbor - Kaimukī
13        –          Liliha - Waikīkī - UH Mānoa
20        –          Pearlridge - Waikīkī via Airport
23        –          Ala Moana - Hawai‘i Kai - Sea Life Park
43        –          Honolulu - Waipahu
52        –          Honolulu - Mililani - Wahiawā - Hale‘iwa
56        –          Honolulu  - Kailua - Kāne‘ohe
57        –          Honolulu - Kailua - Waimānalo
80A     –          Downtown - UH Mānoa - Hawai‘i Kai Express
91        –          Honolulu - ‘Ewa Beach Express
93        –          Honolulu - Mākaha Express
98A     –          Waikīkī - Mililani - Wahiawā Express


April 2, 2018: Proterra, Inc. and Maui County Test All-Electric Bus  

MN: All-electric bus to make test runs on Maui Bus routes


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