Until 2017 Beijing is going to replace 80 per cent of its bus fleet to make its public transport system more environmentally friendly. Wang Hao of Beijing’s Commission of Transport stated on 13th December 2013 that it was their aim “to continuously reduce automobile emissions in downtown areas of the capital, while easing traffic congestion”. Consequently the Commission not only plans to replace old buses, but also pledged to further develop bus routes and achieve a modal shift of commuters from private cars to public transport.
Beijing plans to reduce its nitrogen dioxide emissions by 50 percent and particulate matter by 60 percent during the target period. To reach the goal, 13,825 buses shall be replaced by 4,058 electrically powered and 7,185 natural gas buses. A large share of electrically powered buses is planned to be trolleybuses. Xu Kangming of Beijing Public Transport Holding pointed out, that trolley buses had an advantage over wholly electric-powered buses, because those would require many charging stations on limited land resources in the capital. He explained that batteries of fully electric buses have a short life so far, making them far more expensive to run than trolley, gasoline and diesel vehicles. As trolley buses can help to build up a transport system with little noise, zero emissions and low cost to maintain and operate the capital decided to focus on them.
The transport sector of GIZ China is working together with Beijing’s Transport authorities on different aspects of the city’s transport network. The Electro-Mobility project focuses on electric vehicles, while the TDM project and Sino-German Climate Change Programme consult on emission inventories and travel demand approaches.