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Mobility Human Effort

57: Electric buses are leading the EV revolution

Problem:

The three million diesel-engined buses circulating in the world, account for nearly half of all nitrogen oxides (NOx) and more than two-thirds of all particulate matter (PM) emissions from US transportation sources.

Solution:

Electric buses.


In 2018, there were about 425,000 electric buses in service in the world’s cities. Almost all—99 % of them—were in China. Arguably the first commercial li-ion electric bus was developed by Mr Lu Guanqiu at the Wanxiang Electric Vehicle Company (WXEV).

The company traces its origins to the creation of a repair shop for agricultural machinery in 1969 in the people’s commune Ningwei. In 1979, a factory for agricultural machinery was created.

Then in 2000, WXEV bought a li-ion battery company and three years later they were running a prototype li-ion bus on Route Y9 around West Lake, Hangzhou City.

By 2009, a fleet of these had clocked up 350,000 mi. (560,000 km) on this route and WXEV had delivered buses to major cities in China, including Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Zhengzhou, Nanchang, etc.

They also supplied 100% electric buses to the 16th Asian Games, held in Guangzhou in 2010 while at the Shanghai Expo 2010, Wanxiang deployed 160 buses, each with 65 seats and 300 batteries, on two 8.6 mi (14km) long lines, each capable of a range of 50 mi. (80km). The additional batteries were charged in a hall and changed by robots in 6 minutes.

There will be 1.5 million electric buses in use worldwide by 2030, according to the International Energy Agency Europe.

Every five weeks, 9,500 brand new electric buses take to the roads in China: that is the equivalent of the entire London bus fleet. A number of cities in the Europe’s Nordic region such as Oslo, Trondheim and Gothenburg also have electric buses in operation. Only 1.6% of all city buses in Europe are electric. In the US, it is only about 0.5%.

Alongside the biggest manufacturer, BYD (75,000 units), other electric bus manufactures include

What you can do: Ride regularly in an electric bus

Discover Solution 58: biofuel from prickly pears

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