Expand the use of electric trolley buses and electric vehicles
One third of Vancouver’s greenhouse gas emissions come from vehicle use. Vancouver’s electricity is powered by relatively clean hydro-electric sources. Expanding the use of electric trolley buses and electric vehicles can reduce the greenhouse gas emissions related to vehicle use.
Dave Peterson commented
Use quiet, clean, electric vehicles to provide all city services.
In general, I agree that electric vehicles are not the only answer, but due to the north american addiction to cars, it might be a very necessary step in the right direction.
Also, as mentioned, it is not all about the numbers, and electric vehicles are less noisy and have zero tailpipe emissions, which contribute towards a more liveable city.
Diesel buses on routes that have electric trolley wires are bad in two ways. Most obvious is the noise level when they are in a hurry. If you are talking on the sidewalk, you cannot be heard even if you yell. Secondly, and more importantly, there may be no carbon advantage to buses over cars. If the average passenger load over a days' run is 20, then for a 20-ton bus, each passenger is serviced by 2000 lbs of diesel bus. An individual car is much cleaner. I vote we go with e-buses and e-cars !
Bring trolleys back to Cambie Street you say...?
the thing with electric vehicles is: the elimination of noise and toxic exhaust.
It is criminal that pedestrians from babes to very elderly are exposed to this 24/7
I would love a carfree city and even where I live, so called rural, pristine SSI, the traffic is horrendous.
We need a class action suit against GM et al for decades of abuse to this planet and its creatures, including citizens.
They are our Weapons of Mass Destruction.
But... people are so addicted to the car, it will be hard to get them off.
A hybrid is not a solution, but there are variations of electric that would help, and conversion is atleast a form of recycling.
Bartosz, that is the biggest load of BS I've ever heard.
'Cornerstone of NA Culture'? More like the cornerstone of the mess we found ourselves in.
Most people live within 5km of their work place. Hardly out of range by human-powered transportation. Besides, longer distances can be easily covered by -- gasp -- public transportation.
The 'average North American's lack of interest in cycling' -- oh, well, then we should just forget that idea!
"Our infrastructure is designed and built around the automobile. Our cities are designed for them."
Yes, and this is precisely why we need to move away from the private automobile NOW, before they get worse, and before we continue to pump environmental and economic resources into a bottomless pit.
There is not a single, progressive city that is moving forward with automobile-based infrastructure. The likes of LA, DETROIT, Auckland, much of China, etc. are still hanging onto private automobiles. How has that been working out for them?
This goes beyond emissions. The car-oriented design and pod world lifestyle that results from it has massive economic, cultural, social, safety, and public health costs.
"Conversion of existing cars from gasoline to electric power reduces GHG emmissions not only by driving them, but the conversion process itself is far more ecologically responsible than designing and building an automobile from the ground up."
That will never happen.
How long would the converted existing cars last the (growing) population? A few years... then what?
People will buy new, subsidized electric cars. Any new cars have a huge, negative environmental impact in their production which already outweighs their post-production emissions, which is why there is an on-going debate to whether or not the Prius is in fact environmentally WORSE than a Hummer H1!
"Electric Vehicles are a practical and ecologically responsible solution to the current emissions crisis."
No, it's a stupid, short-sighted solution that only takes into account one, relatively minor factor -- GHG.
"They fit within existing infrastructure."
Which requires billions of dollars and immense natural resources to maintain.
"From a cultural standpoint are easily accepted, and they still give people the feeling of freedom that comes with driving a car."
Freedom comes on a bike, as well, especially when you are not battling thousands of 2000lb metal objects for road space.
"To suggest that everyone must convert to either mass transit or human powered transportation solutions alienates the vast majority of the population."
More people can cycle, walk, or use transit in this world than can drive -- the old, the young, the disabled, the poor.... all of which mostly cannot or cannot afford to drive a private automobile, limiting their mobility and freedom.
For every extra car on the road, the convenience and viability of those alternative modes is reduced. Cycling, walking, and public transit are equitable methods of transportation. Cars are not.
"We must look at the emissions problem from more than just one angle."
Yes, which clearly you are not.
Starting with reinstalling trolleys for the Cambie street route.
Cars, electric or otherwise, are a cornerstone of North American culture. The sheer distances between municipalities or suburbs negate the practicality of human powered locomotion, not to mention the average North American's lack of interest in cycling as a cure all solution for the emissions crisis. Our infrastructure is designed and built around the automobile. Our cities are designed for them. Why then refute the idea of electric powered transportation? Conversion of existing cars from gasoline to electric power reduces GHG emmissions not only by driving them, but the conversion process itself is far more ecologically responsible than designing and building an automobile from the ground up. Even if the electricity used to power the cars comes from coal powered generators, the CO2 emmissions are still lower than that of a fossil fueled vehicle. Here in Vancouver, most of our electricity comes from existing Hydro facilities. It is also a gross misconception that in order to support thousands of EVs we would need to increase our power generation capacity. The long and the short of this matter is as follows: Electric Vehicles are a practical and ecologically responsible solution to the current emissions crisis. They fit within existing infrastructure, from a cultural standpoint are easily accepted, and they still give people the feeling of freedom that comes with driving a car. To suggest that everyone must convert to either mass transit or human powered transportation solutions alienates the vast majority of the population. We must look at the emissions problem from more than just one angle. We must apply systems thinking and include factors beyond simply the quantitative. To learn more about what is being done here in Vancouver, not by eco-activists, but by regular people, please visit, http://www.ubcecc.com/blog
The trolleys also are more efficient especially when you think of the electric car once again you have a vehicle carrying approximately 5 people compared to a trolley bus carrying much more so you get more per mile out of a trolley then a electric vehicle. I agree though that the best and main focus should be bicycles as they are the one true clean and efficient method of transport!
Great to get some feedback and have someone hear me out. I am loaded with all sorts of insightful ideas as I have studied sustainability in dept but I need some audience, In relation to the green transportation the question that must be confronted is : Are "green cars", electric or otherwise, a dangerous diversion or planet stewards? A 5 February 2010 post entitled Automatic for the people? warns http://bit.ly/UnGrnCars : In that context, "green cars", electric or otherwise, are a dangerous diversion. For one thing, even if they were "green" (which of course they aren't in the sense of embodied energy used to manufacture, not just in the car but also the supporting infrastructure) they re-enforce the idea that we don't need to change our lifestyles at all, it's just that technology will magically make them sustainable.
Could not agree more, Pradeep.
Please, let's not not be short-sighted an think EV are the answer. They most certainly are not.
When one speaks of relatively clean hydro-electric sources one is attempting to be blind to the fact that hydroelectric projects have done and continue to do fair size devastation of biodiversity the evil twin of climate change. So in the end hydro electric power is not that eco-friendly after all. The idea is to use own body power or peronal horsepower than fuels or electricity of any source if we are to sustain ourselves at the 9 billion strenght. A tall order to say the least.
Needless to say that the electricity used in these EVs must be clean or we miss the whole idea. And getting truly green eleciticity is a nightmare so the emphasis must be on lot less travel period. The real goal has to be AMV lifestyle as outlined here http://vsrbc.web.officelive.com/amv.aspx And even the buses and trollies of City are CO2 emitters although bit less so.