The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan recently committed to phasing out purchasing new pure diesel buses from the capital. No more pure diesel double-deck buses will be added to the capital’s fleet from 2018 and all new single-decks for central London will be zero-emission. The Mayor made the announcement along with unveiling the first double-decker hydrogen bus, manufactured by the Wrights Group. (Earlier post.)
London has committed to procuring roughly 300 zero emission buses by 2020, with 51 battery electric buses recently going into service on the 507/521 route, taking the number of completely electric bus routes to three, with 79 zero emission buses in total in the fleet.
At least 20 new hydrogen buses will be delivered to London as part of a £10-million (US$12.6 million) part-EU funded project supporting hydrogen technology, with TfL providing at least £5 million in funding.
The Mayor made the announcement at the International Zero Emission Bus Conference and Fuel Cell Bus Workshop (IFCBW) at London City Hall, held 30 November and 1 December and hosted by Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE). The workshop is a clean transit event at which public and private sectors showcase considerations for the expansion of zero-emission bus technology. CTE hosted the event in partnership with the US Federal Transit Administration (FTA), and UK-based Element Energy, in partnership with the European Union’s Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU).
Sadiq Khan is calling on other cities to follow London’s lead and work together to challenge bus manufacturers to produce more zero-emission buses and make cleaner bus technology cheaper.
Eleven other major cities—including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Cape Town—have already responded to the call and agreed to begin moves to phase out their procurement of pure diesel buses by the end of 2020. In addition, Paris, Madrid and Mexico City have committed to removing diesel buses from their cities by 2025.
There are currently more than 200 ZEBs operating in the US, according to CTE. By 2018 this number will grow to nearly 600, based on published awards and sales to date. The state of California is presently considering a target goal that would require transit fleets to be entirely zero emission by 2040.
At the IFCBW event, Jack Kitowski, the Mobile Source Division Chief of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), said that recent awards of more than $70 million in Low Carbon Transportation grant funding will go to build 25 fuel cell electric buses and 70 battery electric buses along with supporting infrastructure for 10 transit agencies throughout California.
Driving this effort are state laws requiring that by 2020 California must reduce its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions to 1990 levels (AB32) and to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 (SB32). Furthermore, Governor Jerry Brown has issued an Executive Order requiring state agencies to take the necessary actions to ultimately reduce GHG emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.
A number of US ZEB transit operators were present in London to share the practicalities of fleet integration and operation, including AC Transit (Oakland, CA); Foothill Transit (West Covina, CA); Orange County Transportation Authority (Orange, CA); Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (Canton, OH); and SunLine Transit (Thousand Palms, CA). The Los Angeles Mayor’s Office gave a statement at the event that the city was committing to make zero-emissions buses 20% of their fleet purchases in 2017.
This was the 10th Edition of the IFCBW, continuing efforts begun in 2003 by the US Department of Transportation, US Department of Energy, and the European CUTE/HyFLEET CUTE programs. CTE and Element Energy have begun making plans for the next International Zero Emission Bus Conference to be held in mid-2018.