Thou­sands of green buses to hit Bei­jing roads by 2017 in clean air plan

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By ZHENG XIN zhengxin@chi­

Bei­jing will re­place 80 per­cent of its buses with new-en­ergy and clean-fuel ve­hi­cles by the end of 2017 in an at­tempt to re­duce ve­hi­cle emis­sions and ease pol­lu­tion.

A to­tal of 13,825 buses, in­clud­ing 4,058 elec­tri­cally pow­ered and 7,185 run­ning on nat­u­ral gas, will re­place gas and diesel, the Bei­jing Com­mis­sion of Trans­port said on Thurs­day.

The com­mis­sion has also pledged to fur­ther de­velop bus routes and sway more com­muters us­ing pri­vate cars to use pub­lic trans­porta­tion.

“The aim is to con­tin­u­ously re­duce au­to­mo­bile emis­sions in down­town ar­eas of the cap­i­tal, while eas­ing traf­fic con­ges­tion,” said Wang Hao, an of­fi­cial with the com­mis­sion’s trans­port bureau.

The com­mis­sion es­ti­mates that by the end of 2017, the city will have 65 per­cent of its buses pow­ered by clean en­ergy, with 20 per­cent of them fu­eled by elec­tric­ity and 50 per­cent by nat­u­ral gas.

The State-owned Bei­jing Pub­lic Trans­port Hold­ings will re­place more than 10 routes op­er­ated by diesel-pow­ered buses with more than 4,700 elec­tric buses by 2017.

“We will re­place all buses run­ning within the Fifth Ring Road with clean-en­ergy buses within four years,” Wang said.

Nan Tao, head of the bus com­pany’s ser­vice bureau, said re­plac­ing tra­di­tional buses with clean-en­ergy ve­hi­cles will re­duce fuel con­sump­tion by 150,000 tons a year.

Ni­tro­gen diox­ide emis­sions will fall by 50 per­cent and par­tic­u­late mat­ter by 60 per­cent, he said. Ac­cord­ing to Bei­jing’s clean air ac­tion plan, the cap­i­tal will up­grade more than 700 elec­tric ve­hi­cles and 1,950 fu­eled by nat­u­ral gas by 2014, while re­duc­ing the in­ten­sity of auto emis­sions by half by 2017.

Wu Di, an of­fi­cial with the Bei­jing En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Bureau, said the switch to clean en­ergy in pub­lic trans­porta­tion will bring a huge im­prove­ment to the city’s air qual­ity.

Trol­ley buses, which took a back seat fol­low­ing a rapid rise in the num­ber of gas- and diesel-fu­eled buses have come un­der the spot­light re­cently, with sig­nif­i­cantly more of the ve­hi­cles planned to hit Bei­jing’s roads in com­ing years.

Wu Yongzhi, deputy head of the bus com­pany’s tech­nol­ogy depart­ment, said the cap­i­tal cur­rently has about 590 trol­ley buses, with 15 routes cov­er­ing more than 200 km.

Xu Kang­ming, a trans­port ex­pert and founder of 3E Trans­porta­tion Sys­tems, said that when it is widely in­tro­duced the trol­ley bus will be very ef­fec­tive in com­bat­ing pol­lu­tion and eas­ing traf­fic con­ges­tion.

“With lit­tle noise, zero emis­sions and a low cost to main­tain and op­er­ate, the trol­ley bus has proved to be ef­fi­cient world­wide in pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment,” he said.

Xu added that the trol­ley bus also has an ad­van­tage over wholly elec­tric-pow­ered buses, which re­quire many charg­ing sta­tions on lim­ited land re­sources in the cap­i­tal.

The bat­ter­ies on th­ese buses also have a short life, mak­ing them far more ex­pen­sive to run than gaso­line and diesel ve­hi­cles.

Xu said that more than 25 cities in China used to run trol­ley buses, but many stopped do­ing so, and they are now op­er­ated in less than 10 cities, in­clud­ing Bei­jing, Guangzhou, Shang­hai, Wuhan and Ji­nan.

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