Electric buses are coming, and they’re going to help fix 4 big urban problems

A recent paper from researchers at Carnegie Mellon University set out to compare different bus options based on their total lifecycle costs, which means construction, fuel, maintenance, infrastructure, air pollution impacts — everything.
They found that BEBs are currently competitive, on a total lifecycle-cost basis, with liquid natural gas (LNG), compressed natural gas (CNG), and hybrid diesel buses. That means BEBs can plausibly compete with roughly 40 percent of the current bus market, without any subsidies.
But here’s the twist. It is typical, in the US, for local transit agencies to get a big chunk of their transit capital funding from the federal government (specifically, the Federal Transit Administration). So the researchers modeled what would happen from a city’s perspective if 80 percent of the upfront capital costs of their bus purchases were covered.