Britain unveils £48 million (US$68 million) fund for greener buses

BYD electric bus image

I've said it before: Electric cars are cool. Electric buses are awesome.

I wrote yesterday about the onward march of electrified road freight, with a heavy emphasis on British fleets going green. But freight isn't the only class of heavy vehicle increasingly switching over to electric propulsion—electric buses have been making great inroads on the market too.

While Shenzhen, China's fleet of 14,000 100% electric buses will be hard to beat anytime soon, British cities are about to get a helping hand in cleaning up their air too. Renewable Energy Magazine reports that Transport Minister Nusrat Ghan has just announced a fund of £48,000,000 (US$67,647,000) as part of its Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme. The scheme will allow cities and bus companies to bid for financial support, which they can use to update their fleet with electric and/or hydrogen buses, plus the infrastructure required to keep them on the road.

In many ways, it's no surprise. Post-Brexit Britain has already pledged £1 billion to support the take-up of ultra low emission vehicles, among other ambitious decarbonization pledges. And while much of the hype around electric vehicles focuses on personal car ownership, autonomy and/or ride sharing, there are inherent advantages to mass transportation in cities which are unlikely to go away any time soon. Given that diesel buses have been an outsized contributor to air quality problems, investing in cleaner ones could pay double dividend: Removing one of the worst offenders for localized pollution while investing in one of the best solutions to transportation emissions overall.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Electric cars are cool, but electric buses are awesome.

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