Cities and fleet operators are going all electric fast because the economics become more attractive the bigger the fleet. A typical passenger car in the US might burn a few hundred gallons of fuel per year, but buses, garbage trucks, and cargo trucks consume thousands of gallons of diesel and incur heavy maintenance schedules. Higher upfront costs from batteries are typically offset within a few years by lower maintenance (fewer moving parts, no internal combustion engine) and lower fuel costs.

The transition is happening at a slower pace in the US and Europe. Los Angeles’s Antelope Valley Transit Authority aims to be the first all-electric public transit fleet in the US by buying 85 electric BYD buses over the next five years. Southern California’s Foothill Transit will be fully electric by 2030. Seattle is buying 120 new electric buses over the next three years. London’s black taxis, owned by the Chinese automobile Geely which also owns Volvo, plan to go electric as well.

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