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Revolution of Buses: From Diesel to Electric

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Environmental protection and sustainable development have become a major topic in today’s world. For environmental protection, reducing vehicle exhaust emissions is an important measure. In recent years, the transformation from diesel buses to electric buses in public transport industry has made a significant contribution to environmental protection.

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Electric buses use electricity as their fuel, replacing traditional internal combustion engines with batteries and electric motors. Traditional diesel buses have serious exhaust emissions, loud noise, and several other problems. In contrast, electric buses have many advantages. First of all, electric buses are very friendly to the environment. Electric buses do not emit tail gas, so as to achieve the purpose of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing pollution. Secondly, the noise of electric buses is much lower than that of diesel buses, which improves the quality of life of residents near the streets to a certain extent (5 Advantages of Electric Buses, n.d.)

Regarding the price, the cost of electric buses is much higher than that of diesel buses. The average cost of a diesel bus is approximately $750,000, while an electric bus is about $200,000 to $500,000 more expensive (Chung, etc., 2020). In addition, infrastructure such as charging stations for electric buses must be established before starting daily operation. But in the long run, electric buses have lower fuel costs because electricity is cheaper than diesel. Electric buses have fewer parts and are less expensive to maintain than diesel buses. Moreover, since electric buses are being developed every year, their cost is likely to be close to or even lower than the total cost of diesel buses soon.

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With the gradual improvement of human awareness of environmental protection, electric buses are slowly becoming popular in North America, China, Europe, and other places. China is the first country to start operating electric buses. In 2021, the number of electric buses in Europe would increase by 48% compared to 2020, and by the end of 2021, the proportion of electric buses in Europe would have exceeded 20%. The proportion of electric buses in China has reached 17%. Between 2018 and 2020, Amsterdam and Rotterdam in the Netherlands, Manchester, and London in the UK signed contracts for electric buses one after another. After 2020, France, Italy, and Germany also placed orders for electric buses. In 2017, the number of electric buses purchased in the United States increased by 83%. Although it only accounted for 0.5% of the market, the United States ordered the first double-decker electric bus and the first 18-meter-long articulated electric bus, pioneering the development of new types of electric buses (Editorial, 2023).


To sum up, the development and popularization of electric buses have witnessed the progress of science and technology as well as the world’s emphasis on environmental protection. Although electric buses have disadvantages such as higher cost and shorter battery life compared to diesel buses, their low pollution and more environmentally friendly features give them great space for development and will become an excellent choice for global public transportation.


Chung, E., Hopton, A., & Reid, T. (2020, December 2). What cities can learn from the biggest battery-powered electric bus fleet in North America. CBC.

Editorial. (2023, January 16). Electric bus, main fleets and projects around the world. Sustainable Bus.

5 advantages of electric buses. (n.d.). Västtrafik.