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Copenhagen Way Ahead Of Official Plans — Electric Buses To Enter Operation 6 Years Early

The media outlet TV2 Lorry reports that the citizen representation of the municipality of Copenhagen has approved phasing out all diesel buses in the city before the end of 2025, starting with the budget of 2019.

The media outlet TV2 Lorry reports that the citizen representation of the municipality of Copenhagen has approved phasing out all diesel buses in the city before the end of 2025, starting with the budget of 2019.

Two routes in the city have been tested for two years in cooperation with transport facilitator Movia and energy operator E.ON, and the results have been convincing. 8 out of 10 bus drivers have been content with operation, and 9 out of 10 passengers regard the service as satisfying. The only issues have been with charging at bus stops, where dirt on the roofs of buses housing the arms reaching electric wires needed adjustments.

Electrically-powered bus as a test on Movia bus line 3A at Trianglen in Østerbro in Copenhagen. Image credit: Creative Commons Leif Jørgensen

Mayor Frank Jensen says he is very pleased with this decision of beginning large-scale conversion of the bus fleet right away, not only from an energy source perspective, but also because it’s an important step in providing clean air in the population-dense area of the Danish capital.

This plan for Copenhagen buses actually goes further than what the climate plan disclosed by the Danish government last year proposed: “New buses have to be carbon neutral (biofuel) starting in 2020. New buses must be zero-emission in cities starting in 2025. And eventually all new buses have to be zero-emission starting in 2030.”

Now those zero-emission new buses will start being put into operation 6 years earlier, and that is actually amazing. It’s not unusual for tests like these to go on for years and years, but I suspect this has a lot to do with the fact that if you replace an old worn out bus with a new diesel bus, it would not make sense to have it in operation for less than 10 years or so, and that is simply to long.

In comparison to diesel buses, it’s reasonable to assume that electric buses are far simpler to service, because the drivetrains are expected to last much longer. Battery lifetimes do not seem to be much to worry about, and why should they? In the worst case, batteries are much easier to replace than worn out internal combustion based drivetrains.

Movia has already had success testing electric buses in the municipality of Roskilde, where 20 electric buses are  beingput into service very soon.

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