Shifting new bus procurements in Latin American cities to zero emission technologies

Public transit is a key mode of low-carbon, affordable and accessible mobility, especially in Latin America, the world’s most urbanised region. Despite this, urban bus fleets used by hundreds of millions of residents are still powered by high-polluting diesel engines, which are responsible for large shares of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and other pollutants.

For cities to address these challenges zero emission buses are a crucial tool, delivering not only tremendous GHG reductions, especially when coupled with Latin America’s increasingly low-carbon electricity grid, but also drastically improving urban air quality. Zero emission buses also allow for considerable financial gains, thanks to reduced operational and maintenance costs.

To ensure that all future buses in Latin America are zero emission, ZEBRA focuses its efforts in the following areas:

  • Cities
    Guarantee ambitious political commitments in Medellín, Mexico City, Santiago, and São Paulo towards zero emission buses and translate these into fleet-wide deployment strategies and innovative business models to support the establishment of a procurement pipeline of over 3,600 e-buses in the region.
  • Bus industry
    Make new technology available by securing commitments from bus manufacturers and industry partners to increase the availability of zero emission bus products in the region.
  • Financial institutions
    Secure USD 1 billion in investment in zero emission bus projects from major investors and establish context-specific financial mechanisms to support a continuous pipeline of investable projects.
  • Knowledge sharing
    Share best practices for bus electrification between C40 cities and other major cities in Latin America leading the transition, through a regional working group and annual events; deliver training to selected operators in these cities.

The ZEBRA partnership is co-led by C40 and the International Council on Clean Transportation, with additional support from Centro Mario Molina-ChileClean Energy WorksGlobal Green Growth Institute, and World Resources Institute.

ZEBRA Declaration Commitments

In 2021, the ZEBRA partnership significantly advanced commitments from industry and the financial sector by engaging with bus manufacturers and financiers, inviting these sectors to support the ZEBRA mission of accelerating zero emission bus deployment in Latin America.

During COP26, ZEBRA announced the details of new and significant investments and partnerships:

  • A coalition of financiers committed to investing more than $1 billion U.S. dollars in zero emission bus fleets in Latin America. The investor pledges came from AMP Capital, ARC Global Fund, Ascendal, Ashmore, Copec Voltex, EDP Brasil, Enel X, John Laing, VEMO, and VGMobility.
  • New manufacturers joined the partnership in 2021, committing to ramp up the production of these vehicles for the region. New joiners include Volvo, Zhongtong, IUSA, Busscar and Rennorgy. They joined the likes of Andes Motor, BYD, CreattiEV SAS, Foton, Higer, Sunwin, Vivipra and Yutong, which previously joined the declaration at the end of 2020.

Check the E-BUS RADAR website for monitoring and up to date information on all e-buses currently operating in Latin America.

Case studies, technical reports, market analyses, and presentations

Contact for more information: – Thomas Maltese, ZEBRA Project Manager