Denmark leads in Europe in putting zero-emission urban buses on the streets as 78% of new vehicles are electric, according to the latest data from green NGO Transport & Environment (T&A) on Friday.
T&A said that in Luxembourg and the Netherlands, about two-thirds of new buses are zero-emissions, but other EU countries have an opportunity to catch up by including emissions-free buses in their COVID-19 recovery plans they must submit to the European Commission by the end of April.
The NGO sees the EU's €750 billion COVID-19 recovery fund as a clear way to finance e-bus deployment and urged that more member states step up to the task.
"In Sweden, Norway and Finland, respectively 26%, 24%, and 23% of urban buses registered in 2019 were zero-emission (electric or hydrogen)," according to the data.
However, Italy, Poland, Germany, the UK, Spain and France, which buy 70% of the urban buses sold in Europe, lag behind.
"In 2019, less than 10% of their newly-registered urban buses were electric or hydrogen," the NGO underlined.
Germany took a significant step forward in 2020 though and is now financing 80% of the higher purchase cost of e-buses.
And Poland announced that in cities with populations of 100,000 or more, all public transport will be fully electric by 2030, and allocated €290m to support this objective.
It is also stated that Austria and Ireland registered no zero-emission urban buses in 2019, while in Switzerland and Greece less than 4% of new buses were emissions free.
James Nix, freight manager at Transport & Environment explained that zero-emission urban buses help combat air pollution, tackle climate change, reduce noise and have cheaper total costs than diesel buses over their lifetime.
By Gulsen Cagatay