On Saturday morning, during the heatwave that swept the East Coast, a new electrically powered public transportation bus caught on fire as it sat in the bus parking lot, according to fire officials.
The Hamden Fire Department was dispatched to the CT Transit bus depot in order to extinguish the fire that had spread throughout the electric bus.
According to the authorities, it is still unclear if the lithium-ion battery was responsible for the fire that broke out on the electric bus.
“Lithium-ion battery fires are difficult to extinguish due to the thermal chemical process that produces great heat and continually reignites,” the fire officials said in a statement. “Exposures were protected at the scene.”
“Two CT Transit workers were transported as a precaution from exposure to the smoke, and one firefighter was transported for heat exhaustion,” authorities said.
The incident is being investigated by the fire marshal.
The incident comes after Governor Ned Lamont (CT-D) announced a new State Law that requires Connecticut to transfer all State vehicles to electrical power.
On Friday, Governor Lamont joined state agency officials, legislators, and environmental stakeholders on the New Haven Green to highlight the enactment of Public Act 22-25.
This is a new law that includes a number of actions that will allegedly help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transportation sector, improve air quality and health outcomes for Connecticut residents, and help to mitigate impacts from the climate crisis, according to the news release.
“This historic law does so many great things that will benefit the residents of Connecticut, improving air quality and health outcomes while also helping to mitigate the climate crisis,” Governor Lamont said. “This is another great example of Connecticut leading on climate, particularly at a time when continued state leadership in this area is critical.”
“The measures in this unprecedented law mean cleaner air, better health outcomes, and reductions in our greenhouse gas emissions,” DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes said.
According to the news release, the bill’s provisions include:
- Medium and Heavy-Duty Vehicle Standards: Authorizes the DEEP commissioner to adopt regulations implementing California’s medium- and heavy-duty motor vehicle standards. These standards will ensure that manufacturers are producing cleaner vehicles and offering them for sale in Connecticut, giving prospective consumers more options while reducing a major source of in-state air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
- State Fleet Electrification: Modifies the schedule for electrifying the state fleet, prohibits procurement of diesel-powered buses after January 1, 2024.
- Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Rebate (CHEAPR) Program: Makes numerous changes to the CHEAPR program, including making the CHEAPR board advisory-only, modifying the board’s membership, giving priority to low-income individuals and residents of environmental justice communities, and extending eligibility to businesses, municipalities, nonprofits, and e-bikes; directs all of the greenhouse gas reduction fee and part of Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative funds to the CHEAPR account.
- Zero Emission School Buses: Allows for ten-year school transportation contracts if the contract includes at least one zero-emission school bus; sets target of 100% zero-emission school buses in environmental justice communities by 2030, and for all school districts by 2040; establishes a matching grant program of up to $20 million for the EPA Clean School Bus program.
- Medium and Heavy-Duty Truck Vouchers: Allows DEEP to establish a voucher program to support the use of zero-emission medium and heavy-duty vehicles and funds the program from the CHEAPR account.
- Traffic Signal Grant Program: Requires CTDOT to establish a matching grant program to help municipalities modernize existing traffic signal equipment.
- Right to Charge: Establishes “right to charge” in condominiums and common interest communities, provides for “renter’s right to charge” with certain specifications.
- New Construction Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Requirements: Requires a certain percentage of parking spaces in certain new construction to be equipped with either EV charging stations or charging station infrastructure.
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By Jim Hoft