Cities want to adopt ultra low emission buses such as electric, hydrogen and hybrid buses to reduce carbon and air pollutant emissions from their bus fleets. When members of the C40 Low Emission Vehicle Network met in Bogota in November 2014, it became clear barriers were preventing the uptake of ultra low emission buses, particularly due to their high capital premiums compared to standard conventional diesel buses. Cities want to quickly reach the point where all buses entering their bus fleets are ultra-low emission but this switch will only occur in the volumes required if more cost-effective and sustainable options become available – an acceleration point which has proved frustratingly elusive to reach to date.
Both London and Bogotá have comprehensive plans to tackle greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions from all sources. In London, the Mayor has recently confirmed a comprehensive emissions-control plan, the centrepiece of which is a new Ultra Low Emission Zone, which will be introduced in 2020. This will put in place minimum emission standards for all transport sources, which is expected to reduce emissions of NOx by around 50%, exhaust emissions of particulate matter by 64% and CO2 emissions by 15%.
In Bogotá, the public policy for environmental improvement seeks to replace conventional vehicles with zero or low emission technologies, enabling improvements in air quality, energy savings, lower costs and durability.
The goal for this project is nothing short of a fundamental shift in technology and emissions used in world city bus fleets, moving to having electric, hybrid and hydrogen buses as the standard models. This project aims to reduce annual bus fleet related CO2 emissions from the C40 signatory cities by a third by 2020. C40 signatory cities emit ~336m tonnes a year from transport and ~3m tonnes a year from their bus fleets. Addressing these emissions is a key priority as part of a holistic package of measures to manage air pollutants and GHG emissions.
If signatory cities reach their 2020 clean bus targets of 40,000 buses, there would be greenhouse gas emission savings of 880,528 tons per year. This equates to a 31.7% CO2 saving in 2020 against the 'do nothing' comparison scenario.
Health and air pollution: this project delivers important benefits in terms of improved air quality. Up to 58,104 tonnes of NOx are expected to be saved in 2020, equivalent to a quarter of bus NOx emissions from the C40 signatory cities. In London, since air pollution has a disproportionate impact on more deprived communities and ethnic minorities, this policy will also contribut to a reduction in health inequality in the city.
Economic growth: C40 cities also have an ambitious green growth agenda and supporting the accelerated roll out of ultra low emission buses has clear economic benefits with the ultra low emission vehicle sector. In London, this sector already generates £1.3 billion in sales, supporting nearly 600 companies across the supply chain and around 9,000 jobs. There is also considerable growth potential in this sector.
London is aiming to build on its commitment for all central London single-deck buses to be zero emission capable and all double-deck buses to be hybrid. The Mayor wants to be able to quickly reach the point where all buses entering the bus fleet are ultra-low emission.
Bogotá is aiming to replace the total amount of buses in the zonal component of the SITP (urban services, feeders, supplementary and special routes) and to replace in the medium term the trunk route fleet in operation in Phase 1 and 2 (articulated and bi-articulated buses) of the mass transit bus system with low or zero emission technologies.