China continues to occupy a leading role in the integration of electric buses into their public transportation networks. According to Bloomberg’s Electric Vehicle Outlook 2019, China dominates the global e-bus distribution by operating a fleet of 421’000 of the world’s 425’000 total e-buses. For instance, Europe manages only 2’250 buses with an electric engine. Looking ahead, “China’s municipal e-bus fleet is projected to rise to more than 600,000 by 2025” while the U.S. will nearly reach a total of 5’000 e-buses by that time.
Buses are especially important in tackling the pollution problem as they are inconstant use and produce substantial amounts of green house gases. According to the Shanghai Municipal Transportation Commission, one e-bus can save up to 356 tons of CO2, 28kg of nitrogen oxide and 26kg of particulate matter every year. Already in 2009, China launched an ambitious top-down approach of “prioritizing the electrification of its public-transit system” and formulated a set of comprehensive policies and subsidy schemes to promote the concept of electric buses nationwide. China’s strategy is to complete the electrification of its entire bus fleet. By now, Shenzhen is the global leader in e-buses, followed by Beijing, Shanghai, and Hangzhou.
Because of the newness of China’s cities and and the lack of resistance by local bureaucracies, the central government was able to successfully introduce electric buses to China’s public transportation networks. In contrast, many U.S. cities face the challenge of integrating e-Buses into their existing public transportation systems, that is why Wang Chuanfu, Chairman of BYD Company, a leading manufacturer of batteries used for electric vehicles, suggests: "We propose to governments that they need to learn from China’s example of a staged transition.”