The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Chinese City to Become World's First to Switch Entire Bus Fleet to Electric
The city of Shenzen, China is home to a staggering 16,000 buses. To compare, that's more buses than the five largest North American bus fleets combined (New York City, Los Angeles County, New Jersey Transit, Chicago and Toronto).
Now, after a six-year effort to replace its diesel-fueled buses, the major Chinese city is well on its way to become the world's first city to electrify its entire public transit bus fleet.
Shenzen has methodically electrified its buses in recent years to curb unhealthy air pollution and cut emissions. According to the United Nations' Climate Action program, in 2015 there were 3,600 electric buses on the city's roads. By 2016, the number increased to 9,000. By May 2017, the number reached 14,500. The remaining 1,500 buses will go emission-free before the end of the year.
Shenzen, which has a population of 11.91 million, is also planning to switch its taxis to electric by 2020.
While coal remains as the main source of the buses' power, the all-electric fleet will reduce carbon emissions by 48 percent and methane emissions by 100 percent, according to estimates cited by the Climate Action program.
Shenzhen-based automobile manufacturer BYD (which stands for "build your dreams") started the electric bus program in 2011 and has since delivered more than 80 percent of the new buses.
Electric vehicles are seen as an important tool in the fight against harmful climate change. Emissions from vehicles fueled by gasoline and diesel cause a build-up of greenhouse gases and, especially in cities, pollution from exhausts causes serious damage to health.
China, the world's biggest vehicle market, has emerged as a global leader in the supply and demand for electric vehicles. The Chinese government, faced with tackling serious pollution problems in many cities, is giving big subsidies to the country's electric car manufacturers and is considering a ban on the production and sale of fossil fuel cars.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Erica Cirino
Visit a coral reef off the coast of Miami or the Maldives and you may see fields of bleached white instead of a burst of colors.
By Jason Bittel
High up in the mountains of Montana's Glacier National Park, there are two species of insect that only a fly fishermen or entomologist would probably recognize. Known as stoneflies, these aquatic bugs are similar to dragonflies and mayflies in that they spend part of their lives underwater before emerging onto the land, where they transform into winged adults less than a half inch long. However, unlike those other species, stoneflies do their thing only where cold, clean waters flow.
By Bob Curley
- The new chicken sandwiches at McDonald's, Popeyes, and Chick-fil-A all contain the MSG flavor enhancement chemical.
- Experts say MSG can enhance the so-called umami flavor of a food.
- The ingredient is found in everything from Chinese food and pizza to prepackaged sandwiches and table sauces.
McDonald's wants to get in on the chicken sandwich war currently being waged between Popeyes and Chick-fil-A.
By Andrea Germanos
Youth climate activists marched through the streets of Davos, Switzerland Friday as the World Economic Forum wrapped up in a Fridays for Future demonstration underscoring their demand that the global elite act swiftly to tackle the climate emergency.
By Tim Radford
The year is less than four weeks old, but scientists already know that carbon dioxide emissions will continue to head upwards — as they have every year since measurements began — leading to a continuation of the Earth's rising heat.