One of China’s largest cities, Shenzhen is the first city to electrify its fleet of buses. The city, home to more than 12 million people, requires a well functioning public transport system to move people around the city. Given the volume of people in China and notorious air quality issues, reducing emissions is a high priority and a fairly stunning 16,359 buses are now electric.
To support the electric public transport vehicles, the city installed 510 bus charging stations and 8,000 charging poles. Buses take around 2 hours to charge, before being able to resume duties, an important time frame, given the high demand on their services. The electric buses use 72.9% less energy than diesel buses. In a year, the buses are estimated to save the energy equivalent of 366,000 tons of standard coal, replacing 345,000 tons of fuel, and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 1.35 million tons.
The work isn’t stopping there, with the city in a transition away from traditional taxis, to electric-powered taxis, in fact, they’re already 62.5% complete in that mission. Head of the public transport department of the city’s public transport administration bureau, Zheng Jingyu said,
We will gradually replace the existing fuel-powered cabs with electricity-powered ones and complete the target by 2020, or even ahead of schedule.
The e-taxis will save the energy equivalent of 119,000 tons of standard coal, replacing 116,000 tons of fuel.
Its right about now that you’re wondering if your city could follow Shenzhen’s lead and replace the old buses with electric ones. Of course the answer is yes, but it is important to understand where the economics are right now. In 2017, susidies to the tune of 3.3 billion yuan (US$490 million) for e-buses and the construction of charging facilities were provided by the city.
Vice head of the city’s transport commission, Lou Heru said,
The wide use of electric buses and cabs plays a significant role in improving air quality and constructing a beautiful Shenzhen