In 2016, City politicians in Philadelphia decided that they were going to waste $24 million of taxpayers money by purchasing 25 battery powered city buses.
Not only would they be saving the planet, they gloated, but they were going to save money because these green city buses would have much fewer maintenance costs that the regular, reliable combustion engines.
Those were heady days.
But problems started to emerge almost immediately. The battery powered buses did not have enough power to complete their routes, and the weight of the batteries cracked the chassis of the buses.
After just four years of service, the electric buses were scrapped in 2020.
There is a reason they call it “Green” energy.
You would have thought somebody would have done at least one trial run to make sure the buses had enough juice to complete their routes.
But maybe we are expecting too much of city politicians.
Kind of reminds of a city a bit further North. In 2014, the city politicians in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada decided to spend $5.3 million on 325 new solar-powered parking meters stations.
People would simply buy a ticket at the station and attach it to their vehicle.
Not only were they going to save the planet, they gloated, but the city expected to make an additional $1.3 million from the system.
But there was a bit of a problem.
First because of the northern climate, frost and snow accumulated on the station during the winter covering the solar panel, and they did not have enough power to work. So the city needed people to regularly brush off the snow and scrape off frost.
Then there was a second problem, the stations started freezing up in a climate that can hit 30- and colder in the winter. The coin slots froze up and people were not able to insert money, and the screens became sluggish.
And a program destined to fill the city’s pockets by $1.3 million ended up losing $1.7 million.
As I mentioned earlier, they don’t call it “Green” energy for no reason.