How has Shenzhen, China, cost-effectively built a 100% electrified bus fleet?
In a highly noteworthy announcement made in late 2017, Chinese megacity Shenzhen had informed that it has a full electric bus fleet comprising a total of 16,359 buses. The announcement underscored an appreciable ‘green’ transportation effort by Shenzhen, a south-eastern city which connects mainland China with Hong Kong.
With its entire bus fleet having all electric vehicles, Shenzhen boasts the world’s first and the largest 100% electrified bus fleet. This electric bus fleet is bigger than the combined electric bus fleets of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, New Jersey, and Toronto.
In building such a big electric bus fleet, Shenzhen has successfully and cost-effectively overcome the hurdles in the way of electrifying the entire city’s bus fleet. The main hurdles include high costs as well as lack of charging-station infrastructure.
There were four main tactics which enabled Shenzhen to overcome the hurdles and electrify its bus fleet in a cost-effective manner.
Firstly, national and local subsidies, along with other policy incentives, are available to electric-vehicle manufacturers in Shenzhen, and several other cities in China, to help close the cost gap between conventional diesel buses and electric buses. Secondly, some bus operators in Shenzhen have managed to save on upfront investments in electric vehicles by leasing the vehicles from manufacturers.
Thirdly, Shenzhen optimized the operations and charging of electric buses; and, finally, electric bus operators in Shenzhen benefitted from a lifetime warranty for buses and batteries from the manufacturers.
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