Gearheads Alert: Jay Leno Tours the Electric Bus

November 3, 2012

The best mass transit experience I’ve had was in Amsterdam, and no, I hadn’t visited a coffee shop. There, street level, human scale trolleys whisk you around the city center in a jiffy – and are as quiet, convenient, and readily available as elevators in a New York high rise. You never lose touch with the experience of the city and being on the street, along the canals.

Not long ago, I took a ride from Ann Arbor to Detroit Metro on a brand new hybrid bus. The seats were comfortable, the ceiling was high, the windows were big and bright – it had wi-fi. ┬áIt gave me hope that we could do something near term in the US that might get us on the road to real, comfortable, desirable mass transit. Certainly if I could catch a bus like that to Chicago, I’d do so in a heartbeat.

I don’t know if the bus Jay Leno features above has wi-fi, but for most American cities, in the near term – mass transit if going to rely heavily on making buses more efficient, more attractive, and more available. This is one solution that could go a long way.

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7 Responses to “Gearheads Alert: Jay Leno Tours the Electric Bus”

  1. skeptictmac57 Says:

    1100 passenger MPG equivalent…fantastic!
    Baby steps for now,but up and walking confidently in the near future soon I hope.


  2. Hopefully they can keep costs at a level that makes it attractive for municipalities to buy. This said, it’s freaking brilliant! Thanks for sharing!


  3. Jay Leno really should be the spokesman for the electric car in USA. He’s fun, enthusiastic about cars and about as apple pie as you can get. I don’t even think conservatives would hate him.

    • MorinMoss Says:

      I’d like to see him, Bob Lutz and Dan Neil make a joint effort to promote EVs and alternative energy.

      That should cover most of the entrenched idelogical bases.

      And Jay was impressive as a bus driver and seemed to be really flooring it in some of the stretches.

  4. MorinMoss Says:

    That was AWESOME!
    I’ve often wondered why the EV emphasis wasn’t targeted more towards mass transit, fleets, taxis and trucks rather than Above-Average Joe.

    For those applications, the economics quickly makes sense and the savings will mount up in just a few years.

    Not to mention, range anxiety is not a big deal as, apart from trucking, most commercial vehicles don’t go too far from home base.

    I’m hoping that the Sumitomo low-temp molten-salt sodium-ion battery pans out as that will be more suited for larger vehicles and will offer increased storage density and lower costs. Availability is tentatively sometime in 2015.


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