Sixteen-thousand. More precisely: 16,359.That is the number of electric buses keeping public transport alive in Hong Kong’s sister city Shenzhen. With 12 million people it is also the electronic capital of the world, which builds – among many many other electronic products – the iPhone. The delivery itself posed some logistical challenges, as the video below shows. Shipping hundreds of buses in one delivery is a feat.
Also you can’t just replace so many buses, it requires some years and additional charging stations. In total 510 charging stations with 8,000 poles were installed at the same time. One charging pole can recharge a dry bus within two hours, a station can serve 300 buses a day. Here a video how the charging process works for BYD buses.
The city saves with the buses from Chinese car maker BYD 1.35 million tons on CO2 emissions. The buses also use 75 percent less energy. The replacement became necessary, because Shenzhen – like many other Chinese cities – suffer from smog. The rapid economic growth of the past years was evened out by the environmental problems created. The city invested 490 million dollars in subsidies to change public transport.
A welcome side effect is reduction of noise levels. The electric buses are much quieter and increase the city’s quality of life.
Shenzhen’s buses are not only electric; after the successful replacement the first buses are being tested in autonomous driving mode.
At the same time as the bus replacement happened, also internal combustion engine taxis were replaced. Half of the 16,000 taxis are already replaced by electric taxis. 2020 hundred percent of taxis shall be electrified.
This article has also been published in German.