Eindhoven follows London in electric bus roll-out

All inner-city buses in Eindhoven are now electric, it was announced last week. The move means the Dutch city has the largest zero-emission bus fleet in public transport in Europe and is the latest in a series of developments that suggests zero-emission public transport is becoming an ever more viable option.

The switch from diesel buses to electric in the inner city and on routes to nearby municipality Helmond has involved changing both buses and bus garages. The bus terminus in Eindhoven has been converted from a garage with a diesel fuelling station into a facility with 43 bays for extra-large electric buses, each with their own charging point. The operating company, TransDev, says it is using ultra-fast charging that can give a bus a full charge within half an hour, along with a new timetable and rotation system that maximises a bus’s distance capability.

It is the first large-scale rollout in regular service of a zero-emission bus fleet in Europe. London will soon follow with 51 electric buses in an attempt to improve the British capital’s poor air quality. While London’s 51 buses are standard size, the Dutch scheme is for 43 extra-long buses.

London has also committed to ensuring all new single-decker buses will be electric, and it recently unveiled its first electric double-decker bus, although this model is currently thought to be too expensive to roll out in large numbers.

The news comes following the announcement by Paris, Athens, Madrid and Mexico City that they would phase out all diesel vehicles from their city centres by 2025. Last month, government and opposition parties in the Flemish part of Belgium agreed on a climate plan, and one of its goals is for public transport in all Flemish cities to be zero emissions by 2025.