Do Mayors Dream of Electric Sheep?
Gavin Buckley puts forth a very expensive and useless proposition in Annapolis
My jaw hit the floor when I saw this tweet this morning:
When you read the substance of it, it gets even worse:
On Monday, he will introduce ordinance O-40-21, which would amend the capital budget for fiscal 2022 to include the 100% Electric Mobility Plan, a multiyear effort to create a fully electric transit system in Eastport and downtown Annapolis.
The plan earmarks more than $1.5 million in the capital budget across fiscal 2022, which began in July, and fiscal 2023 to acquire an electric ferry, electric trolleys and electric circulator buses plus build docking and charging infrastructure at City Dock and the end of Fifth Street in Eastport. An unknown amount for planning and construction will be needed in fiscal 2024.
“I wanted to make a statement that Annapolis is going electric,” Buckley said. “If this plan works, any transportation that you can get on for free around the city will be carbon neutral.”
This is bonkers. For a few reasons.
One, Buckely buys into the notion that electric vehicles are somehow “Carbon Neutral.” Boy, do I have some bad news for him.
That doesn’t take into account electricity generation, much of which in Maryland is still based on fossil fuels. It also doesn’t take into account the mining of materials to make the batteries, much of which takes place in countries with limited environmental laws. It looks something like this.
Very environmentally friendly.
It also takes a larger number of metals to just build the vehicles, again thanks to the batteries.
That’s before we even get to the cost of all of this, which is going to be astonomical:
In addition to $21,500 in city overhead costs for things like staff hours working on the project, the city has estimated an electric boat will cost about $330,000, plus $100,000 for planning and conceptual designs for the docking facilities at City Dock and the end of Fifth Street.
In the next fiscal year, $550,000 would be needed for an electric circulator bus, $50,000 for two electric six-passenger vans and $400,000 for DC charging infrastructure, according to city estimates.
The city has not yet identified specific trolleys or buses to purchase.
It’s a million dollars for four pieces of equipment, plus the infrastructure. and th’at before the trolleys even come into account.
So Buckley’s plan is going to have a massive carbon footprint (just one that Annapolis doesn’t have to see) and is going to cost an exorbitant amount of money. So that’s already two strikes against it.
But why does Annapolis event need an “all-electric transit system” in the first place. This is a map of the city of Annapolis. I circle the area that is going to get this electric transit.
We’re not talking about a large footprint that’s going to move people all around the city of Annapolis. It’s an electric transit project to move tourists to and from the areas where all of Buckley’s supporters live, work, and own business. Very magnanimous.
The inset area isn’t even all that big. It is a thirty minute walk from one side to the other from the Annapolis Maritime Museum to the Maryland State House. Buckley wants to spend millions on “carbon neutral” electric transit when carbon neutral humans can just walk?
After four years of Gavin Buckley’s administration, we should hardly be surprised by this kind of nonsense. In a sane world, Buckely’s environmentally disastrous electric transit would be D.O.A. in the City Council.