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Road public transportation trends for cities

Enel Foundation joined the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) at the  International Bus Conference, an event focused around road public transportation trends for cities, held in conjunction with Busworld Europe in Brussels from 21 to 23 October.

To share knowledge Enel Foundation’s deputy director, João Duarte, delivered a keynote speech and moderated a panel focused on “Business Opportunities for the new-energy Industry”, attended by representatives of The Mobility HouseVolvo Buses and BYD Europe B.V.

The discussion focused specifically on the new energy industry, discussing issues related to smart charging for electric buses, trying to answer questions like whether bidirectional charging can unlock the potential for bus-based energy storage to meet grid demand.

With nearly 300,000 fast chargers installed globally, and roughly half of these dedicated to buses, the charging pattern of electric buses (at depot during the night and on route with pantographs during the day) can open new opportunities for energy services.

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According to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Global EV Outlook 2019, at the end of 2018, there were 460,000 electrified public buses in the world, with China taking the lead as the biggest market.

With a growth rate of 25% from the previous year, the adoption of electric buses outside China has been pushed by innovative procurement schemes, such as the one deployed by Enel X in Santiago del Chile.

In addition, the implementation of significant policy instruments, such as the EU fuel economy standards for cars and trucks and the Clean Vehicles Directive, which provides for public procurement of electric buses, will keep this segment growing in the coming years.

Bloomberg’s BNEF estimates that by 2040, 80% of the global municipal bus fleet will be electric, with important consequences in the levels of global emissions and decreased in air pollution at city levels.

An update of the World Health Organisation (WHO) records that in 2018, 97% of cities in low- and middle- income countries with more than 100,000 inhabitants did not meet the WHO air quality standards, with serious health consequences for the citizens involved.

With the advent of the energy transition, UITP and its 1,700 members including public transport authorities and operators, from 100 countries will continue their journey with Enel Foundation closely monitoring how bus operators approach the new energy industry, continuing to advance their major bus business while also expanding the ancillary business.

Babalwa Bungane
Babalwa Bungane is the content producer for ESI Africa - Clarion Events Africa. Babalwa has been writing for the publication for over five years. She also contributes to sister publications; Smart Energy International and Power Engineering International. Babalwa is a social media enthusiast.