In a world’s first, the Chinese city Shenzhen is expected to electrify 100 per cent of its public transit bus fleet by the end of the year. Shenzhen began adopting electric buses in 2009 under a national electric vehicle strategy.
Shenzhen is on track to achieve a global milestone: it is set to become the first city in the world to boast a fully electrified public transit bus fleet – all by the end of 2017. As CityFix reports, Shenzen is already home to the world’s largest fleet of electric buses, with around 14,500 e-buses at the end of May.
Located in southeastern China immediately to the north of Hong Kong, Shenzhen began adopting electric buses in 2009 under a national EV programme that challenged ten cities across China to deploy at least 1,000 EVs each year for three years. Since then, it has brought even more electric buses into its own fleet by pursuing various policies and targets that support the EV industry.
Unlike other cities and municipal bus operators around the world that have been reluctant to adopt electric buses out of concerns over high capital costs or uncertainty about battery performance, Shenzhen adopted several different business models to offset these risks.
As CityFix explains, Shenzhen experimented with different leasing mechanisms for buses and batteries to avoid long-term lock-in, and also distributed operational risks among the different stakeholders, including bus operators, bus manufacturers and utility companies.
To address battery range and charging issues, Shenzhen Bus Group – one of the three major bus operators – charges buses between driver shifts or overnight at depots. It also developed a charging station that can connect four buses at a time.
Shenzhen’s determined path towards electrification is a key element of the city’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Although coal still accounts for some two-thirds of electricity generation in China, researchers estimate that Shenzhen’s electric public transit buses can reduce 48 per cent of CO2 emissions, compared to diesel buses, and up to 100 per cent of other local pollutants, according to the article.
Image credit: Jo. via Flickr