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EVs Great & Small: Electric Buses For LA, Citroen Amis For A Greek Island

From LA to the Mediterranean, electric vehicles are the new normal.

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation is installing a 1.5 megawatt rooftop solar system and a 4.5 megawatt-hour battery storage component to power one of the largest EV charging facilities in the US for commercial vehicles. “Los Angeles is on track to achieve a zero emission future and our investments in clean transportation systems are driving that progress,” says Mayor Eric Garcetti. “The more electric vehicles we put on our streets today, the more we can lower emissions to ensure a healthier, more sustainable tomorrow.”

According to Solar Power World, the project will benefit from a $6 million grant from the California Energy Commission. The solar and storage microgrid will power five Proterra 1.5-MW fleet chargers that will supply 104 remote EV charging stations. LA currently has 100 electric buses in its fleet and plans to become fully electric by 2028. LADOT selected Proterra and Apparent to install the EV-charging microgrid at the agency’s Washington Bus Yard. When complete, it will have a maximum charging capability of 7.5 MW.

The microgrid will utilize Apparent’s intelligent grid operating system (igOS) platform to integrate Proterra Energy’s charging infrastructure with energy generation to coordinate how and when the electric buses are charged with energy generated from solar, or drawn from storage or the utility.

“Meeting our climate and sustainability goals requires persistent investment and urgent action,” says LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds. “This grant provides an essential support facility as we move closer to our goal of a fully electric fleet.”

“Transit agencies and fleet operators need resilient, reliable charging solutions to help power the switch to electric fleets. This innovative project is a model for how we can power commercial electric vehicle fleets and support a sustainable, clean transportation future with renewable energy solutions. We are excited to extend the benefits of our technology to help power Los Angeles’s transition to zero-emission, electric transit buses,” says Gareth Joyce, president of Proterra.

Sustainability On A Greek Island

Image courtesy of Citroen

A half a world away, Citroen is teaming up with Syngelidis Group, French utility company Vinci, and Akuo Greece to bring zero emissions driving to the island of Chalki. It is donating 6 EVs — two Amis, two ë-C4s, one ë-Spacetourer, and one ë-Dispatch.

“We are really glad to collaborate with the Island of Chalki on this exceptional project. This collaboration is completely in keeping with the spirit of Citroen, an innovative and daring brand, closely connected with people in their daily lives and their mobility. We are committed to making electrification available to everyone and we believe that this is a source of progress within the society says Vincent Cobée, CEO of Citroen, in a press release.

“We are very proud to contribute to the transformation of Chalki into an island which will be autonomous, smart, and sustainable. This project will change the lives of a few for now but this is just the beginning. By helping Chalki to become a green economy focussed on sustainability, Citroën is paving the way for the future and is showing that electrification is the way forward,” adds Cobée.

Through a comprehensive development plan for smart and climate-neutral mobility, Citroen will provide the opportunity to residents and businesses of the island to acquire zero emission electric vehicles, from light quadra-cycles to passenger and commercial vehicles. Residents of the island will gain a significant improvement in their daily life with less noise, better air quality, a cleaner environment, as well as lower fuel costs.

That is all wonderful news, but the question the press release didn’t answer is, where will the electricity to make this happen come from? Zero emissions vehicles aren’t really emissions-free if the electricity to recharge them is being made by burning coal. According to Bloomberg, the government of Greece is providing a 1 MW solar installation that will meet all of the island’s needs for electrical power. It’s all part of the the nation’s $100 million green energy initiative for its island communities.

The Takeaway

Whether it’s a mammoth commercial charging installation in Los Angeles or a fleet of 6 electric cars on a tiny Greek island, the EV revolution is touching lives all around the world. We have to stop the flow of crud from the tailpipes of billions of vehicles if we are to have any hope of keeping the Earth habitable for human beings.

Transportation is only one part of anthropogenic climate change, but it is something that ordinary people have some control over. The idea that we could drive on electrons instead of molecules was novel a decade ago. Today it is an accepted part of daily living no matter where you are in the world. Just imagine where we will be a decade from now!

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Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new."


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