Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica

Cars

Tesla Model X Used For New Orange County Electric Vanpool

In California, Orange County (the Orange County Transportation Authority) has made a couple of changes when it comes to its vanpools. First of all, the fleet of vehicles in operation has dropped from 470 vehicles to 164 vehicles. In the midst of this cut in operations, Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is also beginning a shift to electric vehicles, starting with a Tesla Model X.

Along with everything else in which you have to share a relatively small space with a lot of people, public transportation has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. How transit agencies are responding varies. What is often forgotten when it comes to public transportation is that there’s high-capacity public transportation and low-capacity public transportation. In particular, public transit agencies serve rural communities with things like small shuttles and vanpools.

In California, Orange County (the Orange County Transportation Authority) has made a couple of changes when it comes to its vanpools. First of all, the fleet of vehicles in operation has dropped from 470 vehicles to 164 vehicles. The large shift to telecommuting (working from home) cut demand dramatically, as did people simply not wanting to share a vehicle with other people.

“Employees at the Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach get their first look at a Tesla X, the first all-electric vehicle in OCTA’s Vanpool program. The vanpool, with five commuters, will travel approximately 140 miles per day from southern Riverside County to Seal Beach, helping ease traffic while producing zero emissions.” Photo courtesy of the Orange County Transportation Authority.

In the midst of this cut in operations, Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is also beginning a shift to electric vehicles, which will presumably cut operational costs. The first vehicle it is using is the Tesla Model X, via Green Commuter. (Technically, OCTA doesn’t operate the vanpools — it just subsidizes them.)

“The all-electric vanpool vehicle is being used by five employees who work in Seal Beach at the Naval Weapons Station. They commute approximately 140 miles roundtrip each day from near Murrieta in southern Riverside County,” OCTA shares. That comes to 35,000 miles a year if you assume 50 weeks of operation 5 days a week. As we’ve shown in many “total cost of ownership” analyses, the more a person or business drives, the more switching to electricity saves money. At 35,000 miles a year, OCTA can likely save money compared to a lower quality, less appealing gasoline alternative. No doubt, the passengers must appreciate the upgrade. Plus, there’s that critical point that it cuts emissions.

Also, consider that while this Tesla Model X replaces just one gasoline van, it electrifies the commute for 5 people. Effectively, that’s 5 gasoline vehicles not on the road driving long distances almost every day.

Me checking out an early Tesla Model X. Not the Model X used by OCTA. Photo by Kyle Field, CleanTechnica.

We’ve long seen long-distance trips and high-capacity vehicles as a prime way to cut emissions while providing a better transportation experience at lower cost. (That’s the reason I cofounded Tesla Shuttle.) So, although this is only one vehicle at the moment, I think the news is worth highlighting. If it goes well on this route, OCTA could electrify a lot more of these high-mileage vehicles, and other vanpool operators and transit agencies around the country (or the world) could look into this appealing option.

 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 

Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!
 

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Advertisement
 
Written By

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

Comments

You May Also Like

Clean Transport

It’s been a long wait since we very enthusiastically discovered all of the amazing features and specs of the Tesla Semi when it was...

Autonomous Vehicles

When it comes to irresponsible use of systems like Autopilot, FSD Beta, Super Cruise, or Blue Cruise, there tends to be a lot of...

Cars

September 2022 saw plugin electric vehicles take 24.2% share of the French auto market, up from 21.5% year on year. Full electrics grew share...

Cars

New Zealand’s aggressive bonus malus approach has enabled a fully electric vehicle (BEV), the Tesla Model Y, to become the top selling car in...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.