COVID-19 urban transport response

Global

The urban transport sector is at the heart of the current COVID-19 pandemic – as a vital service for health and other key workers, who have to get to their workplaces. Therefore, it is crucial to provide a coordinated, science-based response from all levels of government to maximise the best possible public health outcome with the least economically damaging impact for all. While every country is challenged with its own specific problems, there are some common challenges for the continent, when it comes to urban transport.

100% electrification of bus transport in Shenzhen

China

In 2010 Shenzhen was selected as a pilot city for rolling out the New Electric Vehicles (NEV) programme of the government of China. By 2017, Shenzhen had electrified all of its 17,000 buses and was hailed as one of the model cities for electrification of public and private transport. This initiative helped tackle the city's noise and air pollution, contributing significantly to mitigation of carbon emissions. The NEV fleet has resulted in 160,000 tonnes of CO2 emission reduction between 2009 and 2013. The city government has installed an expansive charging infrastructure that can be used by both buses and private electric cars. To counter the high upfront costs of electric buses, the Shenzhen government followed a unique model of "financial leasing, separation of vehicles and battery, and integration of charging and maintaining" with financial aid from the national government.

Funding electric buses in Germany

Germany

Germany has implemented a funding scheme to encourage the uptake of electric buses by public and private bus operators. The scheme offers a subsidy of up to 80% of the additional costs when bus operators buy five or more electric buses instead of a diesel bus. The scheme primarily targets the nine cities of Germany with the highest levels of nitrogen oxide (NOx). It also provides funding to develop charging infrastructure and new service centres for buses. The scheme mandates the use of renewable energy to charge the electric buses. The transition is likely to lead to carbon emission reductions of more than 45,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year. It is also expected to reduce NOx levels by around 17 tons per year.

Dual tendering strategy for electric buses in Bogotá, Colombia

Colombia

Bogotá, the capital city of Colombia, has become a leader in the adoption of electric buses. The electrification of its bus fleet is part of a multi-phase integrated public transport programme. In the latest phase, 379 electric buses being deployed in the city. The programme contemplates a dual tendering process that separates the provision of the buses from their operation, reducing the technological and financial risks. To address high upfront costs, Bogotá partnered with international organisations to offer innovative financial solutions such as: soft loans to bus operators / concessionaires through a credit line and co-funding by the National Bank of Colombia, monetisation of the bus exterior through advertisement, and leasing of the battery component (50% of the total cost) independently from the bus costs. In its first year, this fleet will mitigate out 21,900 tons of CO2 and 526 kilograms of PM 2.5 pollutant particles. Learn more here and here

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