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  1. I hope they consider the cost of toxic diesel fumes going into everyone lungs along those routes when considering what type of bus to use. Much of that disgusting and toxic black diesel soot that covers every surface in our city comes from Muni’s fake “clean diesel” busses, which are about as clean and as leaded gasoline exhaust.

    • For us here in SF – especially those of us who breathe deeply as we pedal around the city – I am definitely in favor of eliminating diesel whenever possible. But in the bigger picture, pollution is pollution, whether it is ten miles away, or in China, it makes no difference: it is truly a global issue. And if, as I have read, just the manufacture of an electric car causes two tons of pollution, how much must the making of a bus cause? Given that only 12% of electricity in this country is from renewable sources, how much less polluting are electric vehicles really? Also, what about the amount of rare elements that are needed for Li-ion batteries, elements such as cobalt, 42% of the world’s production going into the manufacture of batteries? We are stripping the Earth bare of these, for our needs and wants now, leaving what for the coming generations?

      I dunno – I have no answers, just doubts. And I am not hopeful.

      • Diesel soot is highly localized. I’m on a bike ride now and I just discovered three grains of black diesel soot smudged on the mouthpiece of my water bottle! This stuff is not only disgusting, it’s toxic. I’m certain that even if all of Munis electric bus fleet was powered by a dirty coal power plant it would still put out less harmful pollution than their “clean diesel” busses. But with solar panels getting cheaper and more powerful every year, CA will soon achieve 50% of our electricity through renewable energy. Energy experts now agree that achieving 100% renewable in California is now a realistic possibility if the solar and battery technology continues its current trend.

        Toxicity of batteries can’t even be compared with the toxicity of diesel fuel. Comparing the toxic emissions of manufacturing a lithium bus battery vs the total diesel emissions of a bus throughout its operating life; I think the lithium battery for a bus would realistically create less toxins than operating a single diesel just a one day of normal operations. Lithium batteries are pretty efficient and they keep improving every year.

        While Lithum is a rare element, it is recycable unlike hydrocarbon fuel. World wide oil depletion is very real. We’ve already used up over 1/2 the worlds oil which can never be replaced. Even if we mine all of the worlds lithium and colbolt to convert every vehicle to electric, all of those elements are recyclable. Lead acid batteries, which are far more toxic, are 96% recycled because it’s cheaper to recycle an old battery than it is to mine lead. The same will become true with lithium.