John Addison 
Member since May 23, 2009


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Re: “AC Transit's Hydrogen Boondoggle

Thank you for mentioning me and my book – Save Gas, Save the Planet – in the article about AC Transit.

AC Transit should be admired for giving people ways to stay out of rush-hour gridlock on major streets and highways like 880 and 580. They have been an innovator using buses that people want to ride, bus rapid transit, and zero-emission buses. So that my words are not taken out of context, here is my full report about AC Transit’s hydrogen program:

http://www.cleanfleetreport.com/fleets/riding-on-sunlight/

AC Transit is not engaged in a hydrogen boondoggle. They have been complying with California Air Resource Board regulations. By taking early leadership, they have secured significant federal, state, and non-profit funding to pay for these buses.

Yes, these are tough economic times, so I can appreciate your investigative journalism and questioning of expenses. We need more buses on the road.

Your paper also supports BART and BART airport extensions which are far more costly than zero-emission buses. We do need BART and we also need better bus transportation.

A couple of weeks ago, I was at an Oakland meeting with Dr. Richard Swanson, founder of SunPower. He has observed that 30 years ago, solar costs 30 times as much per watt, as today. Solar was attacked 30 years ago as being a boondoggle. In the beginning, it actually took more energy to create PV than was recovered in using the panels. Thanks to innovators, this is no longer true. Production of solar increases ten-fold every ten years. Yet, the coal industry continues that attack today solar today. The fossil-fuel industry attacks solar for getting millions in tax breaks, while oil and coal get billions.

Since 2002, the U.S. Department of Energy reports that fuel cells have dropped in cost from $275/kW to $45/kW. Fuel cell warranties are ten times those of a few years ago. Within a decade, fuel cell buses could cost less than diesel hybrid buses and take full advantage of electric drive systems and regenerative braking. The key is volume manufacturing instead of today’s low volume production.

It would be unfortunate if AC Transit killed its zero-emission program. The 12 new buses that are on order will lower the cost of zero-emission transportation and carry thousands of riders each day towards a better future.

Respectfully,
John Addison

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by John Addison on 05/23/2009 at 7:32 AM

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