- China owns and operates 99% of the 385 000 electric buses in the world.
- 9 500 cutting-edge electric buses are added to China’s fleet about every five weeks.
- Shenzhen has electrified all 16 359 of its public busses, the first city globally to do so.
China is increasing its electric bus fleet every five weeks by the same number of buses in London’s entire fleet, according to a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. China needs to cater to the largest urban population in the world, but the main driver behind this accelerated development is the dire need to clean up the country’s air. For every 1 000 electric buses that replace diesel buses, the global demand for fuel is lessened by 500 barrels a day. This reduces China’s dependency on oil and helps it to meet its strict air quality targets.
From a modest fishing village in the 1980s, Shenzhen is now leading the charge in China by operating the world largest electric bus fleet. This adoption of electric buses is saving Shenzhen citizens 356 tons of CO2, 28kg of nitrogen oxide and 26kg of particulate matter every year.
Yutong buses, manufactured in China, are the latest addition to the fleets. They are praised for making only around 50 decibels of noise, having a spacious and silent interior, and user-friendly ticket machines. The buses have a camera on the dashboard that will sound an alarm if it observes the driver is tired or distracted, significantly improving the safety of this mode of transport. The range of the vehicle when fully charged can take the bus up to 220km even with heating on, and it takes four hours to charge the bus.
China still has work to do on this frontier, and it will need to start tackling the problem of recycling batteries, but their advances show that they are making strides towards reaching their green goals.
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