Plug In Buses

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No exhaust fumes behind one of these buses. (Credit: BYD)

They're not just for golf courses anymore. Electric delivery trucks, city buses and other heavy-duty vehicles constitute a "huge potential market," according to Reuters.  Now, it  shouldn't come as a complete surprise, as commercial players like UPS and Fed Ex have been experimenting with fossil fuel alternatives for years.

But it is notable that, as the Wall Street Journal reports, BYD is talking with Los Angeles about e-buses. Particularly exciting: the as yet unsubstantiated hope that BYD might set up factories in LA to produce the buses. That's one open question. The other is, does BYD own all the rights to the technology it’s selling?

Also in the Journal: Germany’s Siemens AG and Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries express objections as California considers Chinese help to build high-speed rail. Siemens and Kawasaki licensed their high-speed train technology to China with the understanding it would be used exclusively within China. More to come...

Back in Los Angeles, Zipcar, the largest car sharing service in the world, added 10 new cars to their LA fleet last week, expanding a year old partnership with the city. Zipcar now has 75 cars in Los Angeles, many located near university campuses, including Loyola Marymount University, Occidental College, USC and UCLA.

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About Rachael Myrow

Rachael Myrow hosts the California Report for KQED. Over 17 years in public radio, she's worked for Marketplace and KPCC, filed for NPR and The World, and developed a sizable tea collection that's become the envy of the KQED newsroom. She specializes in politics, economics and history in California - but for emotional balance, she also covers food and its relationship to health and happiness.

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