Shenzhen, considered as China’s Silicon Valley, and one of the most modern cities in the country, is proving that the city’s public transportation can be green and run on electricity. The city of 12 million people has been has been pouring resources into phasing out diesel vehicles on its streets, and using electric vehicles, which are making the city both cleaner and quieter.
At the beginning of 2018, the Shenzhen Transportation Commission reported that all 16,000 public buses in the city went electric by the end of 2017 and now, in January 2019, its reports that the conversion of taxis from diesel to electric has been effectively completed.
|A Shenzhen electric bus in operation|
Last week It announced that 99% of the city’s 22,000 cabs are now powered by electric batteries. However, the deployment of 1,350 vehicles has been delayed because of a shortage of charging stations and a recent survey reported that 80% of Shenzhen’s cab drivers say that the city’s charging station infrastructure is not up to speed with its electric car movement.
|A fleet of BYD electric taxis in Shenzhen, China|
The benefits from the switch from diesel buses to electric buses last year became apparent in 2018 as the city reduced noise pollution and CO2 emissions by 48%. The Shenzhen Bus Group estimates that its fuel bill is 50% lower and that it’s been able to conserve 160,000 tons of coal per year and reduce annual CO2 emissions by 440,000 tons.
Beyond the goal of improving air and environmental quality is China’s ambition to be a world leader in battery technologies, which could subsequently drive employment and export sales.
Shenzhen, where Warren Buffet-backed battery and car manufacturer BYD has its headquarters and R&D facilities, is spearheading China’s electric dream. Its electrifying evolution dates back to 2010 when the city became part of China’s grand plan to pilot hybrid and all-electric vehicles with deep subsidies for manufacturers and consumers.
BYD is benefiting from the city’s green transportation push since it manufacturers non-petroleum buses and taxis. In addition to its sales to Shenzhen and other Chinese cities, the company has recently made forays into overseas markets to electrify their public transportation system. The company has sold electric vehicles to neighboring Japan, Macau and Singapore and is making sales trips across the globe.