Modern cities need good public transport systems. As diesel buses are responsible for much air pollution they’ll need to be replaced with cleaner technologies. London has long had an electric underground, and many cities have electric trolley buses, using overhead power lines. Some British cities are building electric tram lines, emulating their European counterparts. Other options are now emerging as both hydrogen fuel cell and electric battery technologies are improving.
London has about 8,700 buses, mainly still diesel. These are increasingly being retrofitted to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions. Diesel electric hybrids are increasingly common, and perhaps a dozen or so all electric single decker buses now operate in the city. In October London is due to get its first all electric double-decker bus, looking very like a Routemaster; it is being built in China by BYD. China is the world leader in battery electric bus manufacture and deployment. Various Chinese cities are forging ahead with a range of zero tailpipe emission transportation systems.
For many years there had been talk of a hydrogen fuel cell revolution, and now slowly it’s beginning to take shape. The photo above is of the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell tram, built in Qingdao, China, by Qingdao Sifang.
China has very impressive plans to roll out zero emission transport systems to many of its cities. Hydrogen fuel cell trams, ordinary electric trams and battery electric buses are all set to become common sights across China in the next few years. As this is achieved the air quality in Chinese cities should rapidly improve. At the same time investments in renewable energy technology, and in energy efficiency, should ensure that the worst coal power stations can be closed, and at last the upward climb of Chinese carbon emissions can be halted, and hopefully reversed.
Electric buses http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/18/chinese-built-zero-emissions-electric-bus-prepares-for-service-in-london and http://www.sonnenseite.com/en/mobility/electric-buses-more-billion-dollar-orders.html