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America's First All-Electric School Bus Coming to California
The first all-electric school bus could be picking up California students by 2014.
Trans Tech Bus and Motiv Power Systems debuted the bus at the recent 2013 National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) Annual Summit in Grand Rapids, MI. The two companies collaborated on the bus for the Kings Canyon Unified School District in the San Joaquin Valley of California.
"An electric bus can save a school district about 16 gallons of fuel a day, or around $11,000 in fuel savings over a year, not to mention maintenance savings," Trans Tech President John Phraner said. "We are very excited to continue to help school districts reduce their transportation budgets and are committed to opening the market for the all-electric school bus."
Named the SST-e, the bus was partly funded by the California Air Resources Board's air quality improvement program for electric buses. It holds up to 32 children or 24 students and one wheelchair. When more buses are developed, they will be available to districts with four or five battery packs, which provides 80 or 100 miles of travel, respectively.
The buses can be 50 percent charged in less than an hour. The buses are also equipped with telemetry systems, which produce real-time route data and preventive maintenance reports to fleet managers.
The buses are built on Ford E450 chassis and use Motiv's electric Powertrain Control System (ePCS), which is compatible with any battery currently on the market or available in the future.
"Our system is battery agnostic, it 'future-proofs' fleets against changes in the battery market, such as discontinued batteries or future improved technology," said Jim Castelaz, founder and CEO of Motiv. "We are thrilled the ePCS will be assisting schools get the most out of their transportation dollars, while at the same time educating children on clean transportation."
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Kate Martyr
A total of 563 square kilometers (217.38 square miles) of the world's largest rainforest was destroyed in November, 103% more than in the same month last year, according to Brazil's space research agency.
From January to November this year an area almost the size of the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico was destroyed — an 83% overall increase in destruction when compared with the same period last year.
The figures were released on Friday by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), and collected through the DETER database, which uses satellite images to monitor forest fires, forest destruction and other developments affecting the rainforest.
What's Behind the Rise?
Overall, deforestation in 2019 has jumped 30% compared to last year — 9,762 square kilometers (approximately 3769 square miles) have been destroyed, despite deforestation usually slowing during November and December.
Environmental groups, researchers and activists blamed the policies of Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro for the increase.
They say that Bolosonaro's calls for the Amazon to be developed and his weakening support for Ibama, the government's environmental agency, have led to loggers and ranchers feeling safer and braver in destroying the expansive rainforest.
His government hit back at these claims, pointing out that previous governments also cut budgets to environment agencies such as Ibama.
AOSIS blasted Brazil, among other nations, for "a lack of ambition that also undermines ours."
Last month, a group of Brazilian lawyers called for Bolsonaro to be investigated by the International Criminal Court over his environmental policies.
Reposted with permission from DW.
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The Carolina parakeet, the only parrot species native to the U.S., went extinct in 1918 when the last bird died at the Cincinnati Zoo. Now, a little more than 100 years later, researchers have determined that humans were entirely to blame.
By Tara Lohan
In 2017 the Thomas fire raged through 281,893 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, California, leaving in its wake a blackened expanse of land, burned vegetation, and more than 1,000 destroyed buildings.