All 16,359 buses in the Chinese city Shenzhen now run on electricity. The ambitious task of totally replacing the city’s traditional fuel buses with electric ones was finally completed at the start of 2018. There were already 14,000 electric buses operating across Shenzhen in November 2017, and the city actually spent the last two months of that year replacing the remaining traditional fuel buses. Domestic electric vehicle (EV) maker BYD Co. Ltd. provided more than 80% of the electric buses in Shenzhen.
According to local newspaper Shenzhen Daily, the city now aims to electrify its taxi fleet by 2020. Currently, 12,518 out of around 17,000 taxis in the city are EVs. Zheng Jingyu, the head of Shenzhen’s public transportation department, said that the goal of electrifying the city’s taxis could be achieved earlier than 2020.
As part of China’s Pearl River Delta Metropolitan Region, Shenzhen has a transportation system that dwarfs those of major cities in North America. The size of Shenzhen’s bus fleet – now all electric – is three times that of New York and eight times that of Los Angeles. To keep these electric buses on the road, Shenzhen has 300 charging stations specifically for this type of large transportation vehicles. To have an electric bus fully charged only takes about two hours. There are also 8,000 smaller, pole-shaped EV charging stations (that double as street lamps) around the city. This vast EV charging infrastructure has been built over the past few years, and the costs have also been enormous. Just for 2017, Shenzhen committed nearly US$5 billion into installing EV charging stations.
The conversion of Shenzhen’s bus fleet is expected to save 345,000 tons of diesel fuel per year and cut carbon emissions by 1.35 million tons per year. The conversion of the Shenzhen’s taxi fleet is also expected to save another 116,000 tons of diesel annually. There are also other benefits for the city, such as the reduction of traffic noise pollution that tends to be generated by the engines of traditional fuel-powered cars and buses.
(The above article is an English translation of a Chinese article written by Annie Lin. The photo at the top of the article comes from BYD Co. Ltd.)