Environmental benefits of electric buses

Public transportation and electric buses for a sustainable future

Enel X’s services for electric bus networks around the world are set to become even better.

Published on FEBRUARY 10, 2022
Electric buses are set to play an increasingly important role in the energy transition. In order to fight climate change, the UN and individual governments are aiming to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, the year when, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, cities will account for two thirds of the world’s population and consume 75% of its resources. Both in cities and elsewhere, transport is a major polluter, and for this reason creating cleaner, more sustainable systems is vital. Electric buses are a key part of that process.

An important partnership

Enel X is actively working with cities around the world in helping them switch to electric transportation. This is, however, a complicated process, but it is set to become more straightforward, thanks to Enel X’s recently announced partnership with Optibus, a software platform that powers complex transit operations in over 500 cities worldwide. Together, Enel X and Optibus are creating an “eBus-as-a-Service” (EaaS) model which will initially focus on Latin America, North America, and Europe, and the 1,800 eBuses served by Enel X in those regions. 
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Electric buses: advantages and environmental benefits

According to Optibus’s CEO and co-founder, Amos Haggiag, the partnership will lead to “reduced reliance on fossil fuels and improved air quality, bringing the world closer to cleaner, zero-emissions cities.” But these aren’t the only advantages. The many benefits of electric buses can in fact be divided into three main categories:

  • Environmental benefits
  • Community benefits
  • Operational benefits

The environmental benefits of public transportation

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Electric Public Transportation

Zero-emissions mobility for sustainable cities

As Haggiag says, electric buses help eliminate air pollution as they are not powered by fossil fuels, but by sustainable resources. They have zero tailpipe emissions, including nitrogen oxide and particulate matter. This isn’t only good for the air quality of a city, it also makes life more pleasant for its residents: let’s face it, the exhaust fumes of a diesel bus (whether it’s moving along a street or at a standstill at a bus stop) aren’t only bad for our health, they are also irritating.

Community benefits

Another great advantage of eBuses is that they don’t emit noise, which is particularly important in residential areas. “Noise pollution” is one of the many challenges facing cities. The experience of riding an eBus is also more enjoyable for passengers. Diesel and combustion engine buses tend to vibrate, whereas with an eBus the ride is smoother, making life easier for passengers, whether they want to spend the journey time working, talking or relaxing. They can also recharge their electronic devices, either at bus stops or on the vehicles themselves: eBuses are an intrinsic part of the smart city of the future.

Operational benefits

Electric buses also make sense in operational terms. Even if the initial costs of switching to an electric fleet can be high, as a lot of charging infrastructure is required, but this investment can be offset by long-term savings in other areas: electric buses have lower fuel costs, fewer components, require less maintenance and have a longer life cycle. They may be more expensive at the beginning, but they are far cheaper in the long term.

Electric buses: moving towards a sustainable mobility system

Electric buses are set to become widespread over the coming years, as are private electric vehicles (EVs) and taxis, and these developments will help the world move towards a more sustainable and more intelligent mobility system that improves the quality of life for everyone. And, as we never stop pointing out, electric mobility, like all aspects of the energy transition, can lead to job creation. The benefits are also economic, and not just environmental.
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