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Letter to the Editor: Diesel Technology Updates Mean Better Buses

05/19/22

    As an education advocate myself, I feel it’s critical that we depend on the facts and instill their importance on the younger generations. However, it seems that opinion doesn’t seem to be shared by the electric school bus “movement.”

    In a previous commentary, electric school buses were identified as the answer to myriad problems, including climate change, air pollution, disadvantaged communities, boosting performance of disabled students and more. (“Are diesel-powered school buses safe for students?” May 10) Perhaps public funding and a cause can cloud one’s objectivity.

    Diesel has long been the technology of choice for pupil transportation because of the fuel’s safety. It is less combustible than gasoline; the engines have excellent reliability and durability to maintain uptime; the cost of ownership is low; parts are available nationwide, along with servicing and fueling networks; and used buses have high resale value.

    Arguments for switching from diesel to electric buses today are selectively based on a few decades-old studies on old-generation diesel buses. As of 2021, 6 out of 10 diesel-powered school buses on the road in Delaware are of the newest generation diesel technology, equipped with particulate filters and selective catalytic-reduction systems that effectively achieve near-zero emissions. The Health Effects Institute extensively studied the new generation of advanced diesel technology and found the emissions-control systems to be extremely effective at reducing emissions and eliminating any concerns about toxicity.

     

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