U.S. cities have started to show some enthusiasm for electric buses. New York City is trialing electric models as part of a larger bid to reduce emissions. And last month, Los Angeles announced it will spend $36.1 million on electric buses, part of the city’s far-reaching plan to transition to a zero-emission fleet by 2030.
LA joins other cities making big plans to adopt electric buses, which run quieter and cleaner and reduce urban carbon emissions, including London and Paris, which pledged to go electric by 2025.
Then, there’s China, and the city of Shenzhen. The 12.5 million-person metropolis made headlines last year as the first to operate an all-electric bus system. It’s a significant achievement, especially considering the size of the city’s fleet, which totals 16,359 vehicles, more than the combined number operating in New York City, LA, Toronto, New Jersey, and Chicago.
Shenzhen has become the poster child of China’s electric bus push. With 385,000 electric buses, the country has 99 percent of the world’s electric buses, and currently adds 9,500 zero-emission buses every five weeks, equivalent to London’s entire bus fleet.
World Resources Institute
China’s rapid embrace of the new technology, which has gone from fringe to forward-thinking in under a decade, shows the potential of the country’s centrally controlled policy process. According to a new analysis by the World Resources Institute (WRI), China, and specifically Shenzhen, bet big on a holistic approach, which has created a transit and industrial ecosystem that’s vaulted the country far ahead of the rest of the world.
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