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UK falling behind on e-bus uptake

Just 6.4% of new buses registered in the UK in 2019 were zero-emission, according to a report published by NGO Transport & Environment (T&E). 

In Denmark, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, respectively 78%, 67% and 66% of urban buses registered in 2019 were zero-emission. 

In comparison, Austria and Ireland registered no zero-emission urban buses in 2019, while in Switzerland and Greece less than 4% of new buses were emission-free.

Germany took a significant step in 2020 and has now committed to financing 80% of the higher purchase cost of e-buses. Poland also announced that in cities with populations of 100,000 or more, all public transport will be fully electric by 2030. 

However, T&E has highlighted that Italy, Poland, Germany, the UK, Spain and France, which buy 70% must take serious action to increase e-bus uptake. 

James Nix, freight manager at Transport & Environment, said: ‘Urban bus fleets drive millions of kilometres every year. If we want to decarbonise our cities, these vehicles must become emissions-free as soon as possible. Nordic states, Luxembourg and the Netherlands are showing how to put e-buses on the road.

‘Other countries, especially those buying a lot of buses, like Italy, Spain and France, and those at the very start of the transition, such as Austria, need to step it up.”

‘Zero-emission urban buses help us combat air pollution, tackle climate change, reduce noise and cheaper total costs than diesel buses over their lifetime. EU member states must ensure the Covid recovery plans they are currently writing fund the replacement of fossil buses with zero-emission ones.’

In related news, a new report published by Eunomia Research & Consulting for campaign group Transport & Environment has revealed that political leadership, financial support and innovative procurement are key to ensuring the success of electric bus rollouts.

Photo Credit – Transport & Environment

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