12 Major Cities, With 80 Million Citizens, Agree To Only Buy Electric Buses

DEC 3 2017 BY MARK KANE 41

Mayors of 12 major cities around the world, with a total population of nearly 80 million citizens, have announced a move towards zero emission fleets under the C40 Fossil-Fuel-Free Streets Declaration – to make their cities greener, healthier and more prosperous.

New Volvo 7900 Electric

The plan envisions the procurement of only zero-emission buses from 2025. The total number of buses in the 12 engaged cities stands at roughly 59,000 – so its kinda a big deal!

The second part of the new plan is the creation of major zero-emission areas in those cities by 2030.

“Signatories to the Declaration “envision a future where walking, cycling, and shared transport are how the majority of citizens move around our cities.” The cities therefore commit to:

  • Increase rates of walking, cycling and the use of public and shared transport.
  • Reduce the number of polluting vehicles on city streets.
  • Lead by example by procuring zero emission vehicles for city fleets.
  • Collaborate with suppliers, fleet operators and businesses to accelerate the shift to zero emissions vehicles and reduce vehicle miles in cities.”

The list of cities includes:

  • London
  • Paris
  • Los Angeles
  • Copenhagen
  • Barcelona
  • Quito
  • Vancouver
  • Mexico City
  • Milan
  • Seattle
  • Auckland
  • Cape Town

Here is how some mayors promote the move:

New Flyer Xcelsior CHARGE 40’

“Air pollution caused by petrol and diesel vehicles is killing millions of people in cities around the world. The same emissions are also causing climate change,” said Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris and C40 Chair. “In Paris we are taking bold action to prioritise the streets for pedestrians and cyclists. Working with citizens, businesses and mayors of these great cities we will create green and healthy streets for future generations to enjoy.”

“The largest sources of air pollution are also the largest sources of carbon emissions – and in many cities, transportation is the biggest culprit,” said UN Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change and C40 Board President, Michael R. Bloomberg.  “C40 Mayors understand thriving cities require clean air. By switching to cleaner vehicles, we can fight climate change and save many lives.”

“I am absolutely committed to tackling the deadly effects of toxic air on Londoners and making London a zero carbon city,” said Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London “That’s why I am incredibly proud that today in London we have introduced the pioneering T-Charge, the toughest emission standard of any city in the world, which will help drive down the number of dirty vehicles polluting our roads and our lungs. We are leading the fight to clean up our filthy air and protect our citizens from the devastating consequences of climate change. “This is just the first step – we are introducing further world-leading restrictions on polluting vehicles over the next few years, as well as cleaning up our bus fleet and keeping our pledge not to buy a single new double decker diesel bus. We are also building brand new cycle lanes right across the city and focusing on reducing pollution around schools. I want to make London one of the greenest cities in the world – that’s why I’m putting walking, cycling and zero emission public transport right at the heart of Londoners’ day-to-day lives alongside energy efficient buildings, clean energy and increased recycling.”

Proterra Catalyst electric bus

“In Copenhagen we believe that citizens have a right to clean air. We therefore have the ambitious goal of becoming the world’s first C02 neutral capital by 2025 and continuously try to improve air quality,” said Frank Jensen, Lord Mayor of Copenhagen. “This is achieved through a green transition of our transportation, energy production and energy consumption. With this commitment we hope to inspire other cities to act.”

“Cities have to be the real protagonists in the fight against climate change, and to tackle this challenge it’s imperative to have greater powers and a bigger budget” said Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona. “Barcelona is working to gain 165 hectares of green space in the next few years, to triple the number of kilometres covered by bike lanes, to boost public transport, to cut journeys in private vehicles by 21%, and to implement the superblock plan and create more space for pedestrians. In Paris, we once again express our commitment to the climate, set out with over 800 city entities, to cut emissions by 40% and increase urban greenery by 1m2 per inhabitant”.

“Responding to climate change’s threat requires big thinking and bold action,” said Tim Burgess, Mayor of Seattle. “By reaffirming our commitment to a zero-emission transportation system, Seattle is proud to join our friends around the world in demonstrating the power of cities to lead on climate.”

BYD ADL Enviro200EV 10.8m

“We need structural measures to fight air pollution and its impact on the health of citizens – said Mayor of Milan Giuseppe Sala. More than ever before, as mayors of the world cities most committed to tackle environmental challenges, we must set ambitious targets. Milan invests in a better mobility, in particular by strenghthening public transportation and by expanding car, bike and motorbike sharing opportunities. We want cities without polluting vehicles and with much cleaner air. We owe this to our citizens”.

“This is the time for cities to take bold action towards fossil fuel free future,” said Mauricio Rodas, Mayor of Quito. “Quito is ready to lead the way and committed to provide a better more resilient, low carbon and sustainable local development for all our citizens.”

“In Auckland, our largest single contributor to greenhouse gas emissions is from transport – around 40%, so signing this declaration signals how serious we are about tackling climate change,” said Phil Goff, Mayor of Auckland.  “With more than one-third of New Zealand’s population and the majority of its growth, Auckland has a key leadership role to play and we are committed to transforming the way our people move and delivering a clean, green city for all.”

source: C40 via NDTV

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41 Comments on "12 Major Cities, With 80 Million Citizens, Agree To Only Buy Electric Buses"

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Ahh, I see Moscow is a member of C40, but didn’t signed exact document. Still it’s going to jump into.

You people need to overthrow Putin, or we are coming over there to do it for your. It won’t be pretty.

Sheesh, war mongol much?

7 years from now? Why wait so long?

Because it’s not possible.

Not possibly? Really? China has purchased about 350,000 BEBs in the last three years. Why can’t the West come up with a paltry 60,000 BEBs? Why do you think the West is so inferior?

Because most of the West is some form of democracy while China is a single party oligarchy that brutally stamps on dissent and requires the support of the rank and file?
You have to visit and see how fearful the average Chinese person is of anything that they think their government will frown on. From Christians being oppressed to parents protesting their children being brutally murdered in boot camp, it isn’t hard to see the Communist party stomping on the people of China.
When they want half their buses to be electric, it isn’t like anyone is going to tell them the problems inherent in that, they will deliver the electric bus.

@ziv, You make a valid point, but you are overplaying it by quite a bit. China is not exactly in the days of the 1966 “Cultural Revolution” right now (and btw, where was the US in 1966? Interracial marriage still illegal in half the states, the military starting yet another bloody war on another continent that will end up killing millions of locals, etc.). I’m not a China expert, but from the way things are going there it seems it has its own informal system of checks and balances. Contrast with the US – on paper, wow what a democracy! – except when the dominant party is at risk of losing power, its leaders will twist and break any rule they can get away with (does “Merrick Garland” ring a bell?), the media whose owners are in league with the dominant party will do everything they can to move the electoral needle just enough to keep it competitive, and then the head of a government security apparatus will make a misleading statement, again in contravention of all rules, to move the needle just a bit further and sway the final results. And right now, same dominant party is about to… Read more »
Assaf, I was in China a few years ago and some older gent was trying to hand out fliers in downtown Beijing. People were running from him. Suddenly 4 guards, looked Army but might have been police, grabbed him and frog marched him behind a building. They got most of the fliers but a friend and I were down wind and got one too. It had a picture of a skinny Chinese kid in a poorly fitting uniform and a bunch of text in Chinese. We couldn’t figure out what was going on so we took it to the hotel we were staying at and showed it to the concierge. She disappeared behind the counter as did the entire front desk staff. We finally got a university student to read it to us and it was a flier calling for justice for Army recruits who were hazed to death in basic training. Normal Chinese citizens are so terrified of being seen with the flier or talking about it with a Westerner that they won’t even stay in the same room with it. I also talked to people that had grown up on a hutong (alley) along with their parents and… Read more »

So you seem to be saying it isn’t possible in a democracy because the rank and file don’t support it but in fact they do. So please explain to me why it isn’t possible in a democracy where a plurality is in support.

I am not saying it is not possible, I am saying it takes longer to get enough of a majority on board to get something changed. Electric buses are only now hitting the tipping point on lifetime cost, the packs were just too expensive 2 or 3 years ago.
It is easier to build projects like the 3 Rivers Dam in China due to the nature of their political structure.
Can you imagine how long it would take a Western nation to build a dam that required the relocation of a million citizens? China did it, not sure the US could even if they needed to.

You probably want to read about how the interstate highway system was built. Even the official history acknowledges hundreds of thousands displaced, disproportionately black.

It’s not fun to be poor and/or of the wrong ethnicity/skin-color in the US either.

The little guy is always the one to get stepped on, but in the US, the situation has gotten better and worse. When you look at I-495 in DC you see a good example. 495 was supposed to go right through the center of DC to save everyone going north to south several miles. The government wanted to exercise eminent domain to displace the owners of the homes, and again they were mostly black. But the community got together and stopped the process. So the little guys won. But now everyone driving through the area will drive miles out of their way, so I guess we lost too. The interstate condemnations were done 50 years ago, and were done for a pretty good reason. The Chinese oppression is happening right now and much of it is done with little regard for anything other than lining the pockets of bureaucrats. The US isn’t perfect, but it is so much better than China with regards to human rights it isn’t even close. I travel in third world countries fairly frequently, and China is a third world country when it comes to human rights. It is first world in most other things but… Read more »

One other thought struck me as I posted that. China is definitely third world when it comes to toilets outside the main cities too. You will scoff, but LOL! It is funny now, but you had to work your way far enough back so you were out of sight but not far enough that you stepped on a “land mine” left their by an earlier diner.

No decent toilets, but making 99% of the world’s e-buses, and single-handedly lowering the global solar-panel price to be competitive… (of course, by making most of them), and also making way more wind turbines than any other country…

An interesting trade-off, I’d say 🙂

Yep, they are first world in most ways, but clean public toilets and clean air are sadly lacking.
I was in Beijing on one particularly windy, bad pollution day and left my mask in my hotel room. When I got back my face looked like it was sunburned from all the grit that had been hitting me in the face. And when I blew my nose, the kleenex looked like a grey toxic dump.
And on that note…

Chinese gov required that, and they required that it be Chinese buses ONLY.
Not impressed.

Buying buses made domestically is a wise choice if the choices are even close in price and quality. It supports your neighbors job and eventually the job that is saved might be your won. Doesn’t mean it is the only criteria, but it should be one of them.

Of course it is possible. The TCO is lower for electric buses so it’s the right choice financially and there are more than 125 000 electric buses being produced per year so it’s not like another ~6k per year would be hard to do.

It’s not only possible, it would be easy.

Which is exactly why govs are moving quickly towards EBs now. And why Truck companies are going to go after electric trucks.
Once the price got to the point that it is more economical than established forms, then switches get made. Not until then.

Even then it takes time. A research report showed that electric buses had the lowest TCO (by far) of all buses in Sweden 4 years ago already.
It still takes time to spread the information, for the resistance to change to be managed, to do trials and then finally start to do proper investments.

How are we defining “procurement”? Does that mean that they will not sign new contracts to buy diesel buses after 2024? Or does that mean that all existing, signed contracts for further deliveries of diesel buses will expire by then? If procurement covers continued deliveries obligated by old contracts, then I could understand it. But they definitely should refuse to sign any new contracts today.

Easy, buses have to be funded, charging systems installed and buses ordered and delivered. I believe one City in China now has all electric buses and it took some time. This is a huge number of units.

Why are Mississauga and Toronto not on the list?!? Time to send some emails.

and Ottawa – hugely unfortunate they just ordered 20 new diesel buses even as they claim they are retiring 180 buses with the completion of a 12.5km light rail line.

The town of Linköping in Sweden has been running their buses on biogas produced from the waste from the town for many years now.

As has many other Swedish cities. But it is time to go electric now and move that biogas onto for example the shipping sector.

Moscow gonna buy 300/year starting 2018.

I’m surprised San Francisco hasn’t jumped on this. Their public transit is already probably more than half electric right now, so converting their diesel bus fleet to electric should be much easier for them than these other cities.

Proterra and BYD must be happy

As well as most of the other numerous electric bus manufacturers.

Any idea who the big players are? I have always thought that BYD and Proterra were #1 and #2 for the US and I think VDL is big in the Netherlands, but I don’t know about other countries. I wonder if Mitsubishi is big in Japan for electric buses, I know they make them I just don’t know how many. I think GreenPower is starting to make BEB’s in Canada but I don’t know how many they have built or have contracts to build.
BYD is huge and Proterra is just starting to really boom so there is really a lot of room for growth here in the US.

This makes too much sense, I’m calling the koch brothers.

Buses should be banned. In many (most?) places in CA, giving taxi rides are cheaper than operating buses, not to mention traffic they create at busy streets with their numerous stops.

One bus 40 seats means 40 electric taxi cabs. Pricing higher with cars plus congestion would rise. 1 bus vs. 40 cars. No contest.

I agree, Rhaman. We should encourage the poor people to ride buses so there will be less traffic. Thereby allowing my car to get to where I am going that much faster as I zip by all the plebes on the buses.

Are you off your meds, Sparky?

On a per-passenger basis, operating a bus rather than a fleet of taxis is much cheaper, much more energy-efficient, and causes much less traffic congestion.

Any practical movement towards mass transit is definitely a benefit to society. You’re letting your phobia of the people who ride mass transportation affect your judgment. You know, the people you describe as filthy disease-spreading vermin who pee all over the seats. 🙄

Big city mayors can sign all the statements they want. In most cases, the transit system is not under their control. Rather, it’s a metro-wide agency made up of the central city and surrounding cities and areas.

It might not be but they can probibit using dinosaurs.

Step1: stop purchasing fossil busses 5 years earlier.
Step2: start buying only electric busses while discontinuing oldest fossil busses.
Step3: discontinue all non-electric busses 5 years later.