Green charity places UK down the list for emission-free buses

1 March 2021

Denmark leads the way when it comes to putting zero-emission urban buses on the streets in Europe, with 78% of its new vehicles being electric, according to the latest data from non-governmental organisation (NGO), Transport & Environment (T&E).

Luxembourg (67%) and the Netherlands (66%) are second and third on the list with regard to zero-emission new buses, T&E said.

In Sweden, Norway and Finland, respectively 26%, 24%, and 23% of urban buses registered in 2019 were zero-emission (electric or hydrogen).

“Worryingly,” T&E said, “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 UK is 10th of the 18 countries listed with 6.4%.

James Nix, freight manager at Transport & Environment, said: “Urban bus fleets drive millions of kilometres every year. If we want to decarbonise our cities, these vehicles must become emissions free as soon as possible.”

He suggested that the EU countries lagging behind the top three may now have a chance to catch up by including emissions-free buses in the Covid recovery plans they must submit to the European Commission by the end of April.

T&E has also published a report identifying five key steps to get e-buses on the road, starting with political leadership and financial support.

Available — here — the report includes case studies of e-bus implementation from across Europe, including the UK (specifically, London).