The UK has the most electric buses in Europe, however the continent’s use of the low emission vehicles is dwarfed by China, which operates over 98% of the global total.
A new report from the Zero Emission Urban Bus System (ZeEUS) project estimates that the worldwide electric bus fleet has reached more than 173,000, with China operating more than 170,000 such vehicles, 98.3% of the total.
The UK has 18% of Europe's electric bus fleet
In Europe there are currently over 1,300 electric buses delivered or on order – including battery buses (overnight and opportunity charged), plug-in hybrid buses and trolleybuses with batteries for off-wire operation.
The UK has the largest number of these buses with over 18% of the total European fleet, followed by the Netherlands, Switzerland, Poland and Germany, with around 10% each.
The report reveals that 19 public transport operators and authorities, covering around 25 European cities, have published strategies that should see more than 2,500 electric buses operating in those cities by 2020, 6% of their combined fleets.
A further 13 public transport operators and authorities in 18 European cities have a strategy up to 2025, by which time they should have more than 6,100 electric buses in service, 43% of their total fleet.
Separately, a senior World Bank official has argued that with the transport sector responsible for 23% of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions, there will be no significant progress on climate action without 'greener, more sustainable mobility'.
In a blog post, Jose Luis Irigoyen, director of the transport and information and communications technologies global practice of the World Bank, said that more than 70% of the Nationally Determined Contributions that countries have proposed to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement include transport commitments.
These range from increasing public transport in cities to shifting freight from roads to railways and waterways.