For years, Shenzhen, China, has operated the world’s largest fleet of electric buses. But now, the city has announced that its last gas guzzlers are gone and all 16,359 of the city’s buses are electric—making it the world’s first megacity to electrify its entire bus fleet. Shenzhen city officials estimate that the fleet saves 345,000 tons of fuel each year and cuts carbon dioxide emissions by 1.35 million tons.
This massive electric overhaul finished months ahead of schedule and took an investment of hundreds of millions of dollars on top of typical maintenance and update expenditures. The city purchased a range of bus models and built enough charging stations capable of juicing-up half the fleet at a time—some 8,000 charge points and 510 charging stations.
The city is also at the vanguard of converting its taxi fleet over to electric vehicles. Roughly 62.5 percent of the city’s 12,518 cabs are electric-powered, and the head of public transit, Zheng Jingyu, is aiming to make all taxis electric by 2020.
The city’s aggressive adoption of electric vehicles is a model for other global powerhouses, including the 12 megacities who pledged to electrify their bus fleets beginning in 2025.