Cities all throughout the world are embracing an electrified future — leading to cleaner air, quieter communities, and more efficient transportation everywhere.
While electrification is a growing trend just about everywhere, there are a handful of standout cities across the world that have been adopting electrification in breakthrough ways, on a major scale. Let’s celebrate these electric cities for their innovative spirit — and for showing us all what the future of electrified transportation may look like.
Norway has the highest rate of electric car ownership in the world. As of March 2019, electric vehicles (EVs) or hybrids accounted for half of all vehicle sales in Norway, and 57% of all vehicles in the city of Oslo. Norway has a variety of incentives including lower taxes and fees for those driving EVs or hybrids. These regulations make going electric financially feasible for many Oslo residents.
By 2023, Oslo plans to have a city-wide zero-emission taxi system up and running, and they’re already making it simple to charge taxis in the city. To do this, Oslo is installing the world’s first wireless charging system through induction plates. This way, taxis can charge while waiting in a slow-moving line to pick up passengers — making for a much more efficient taxi system, with a greater daily range.
Every single city bus in Shenzhen is fully electric. That’s 16,000 buses. More than 400,000 electric buses are currently in operation throughout China, and the country is planning to add at least 200,000 more by 2025.
In China, the government supports electrification enthusiastically through policy and funding. Public transport companies using electric vehicles receive significant subsidies, which makes electrification more accessible for cities of all sizes. With continued government support of electrification, it’s very possible that many other Chinese cities will soon follow Shenzhen’s lead and convert to 100% transit electrification.
San Francisco, United States of America
Most of the United States has been slower to adopt electrification than the rest of the world. But the state of California is one of America’s leading electric states, and has recently mandated that from 2029 forward, mass transit agencies will only be able to buy electric buses.
While 2029 may seem far away, it’s important to give transit agencies the time they need to adopt fully-electric fleets with the right planning in place. The ten-year mandate will allow these agencies to find and order reliable electric buses and implement necessary infrastructure to ensure they run smoothly in their unique city environments.
The city of San Francisco is one of the top electrified cities in America. According to the International Council on Clean Transportation, San Francisco has more electric vehicles than anywhere else in the country and more electric vehicle promotion efforts, like policies and subsidies, than any other U.S. city.
To install a city-wide electric bus fleet, there’s a lot more to do than just order a fleet of buses. Charging infrastructure is a key part of the electrification equation. In Santiago, Chile, planners tested charging technology and adjusted the electrical grid long before any buses came to town to create the best possible transport strategy for the city.
The ultimate plan for Santiago’s transport sector is to have a low-emission system with 6,000 electric buses up and running by 2040.
In Chile, you might say that electric vehicle infrastructure is growing from the ground up. Chile is the world’s largest producer of copper and the world’s second-largest producer of lithium, which are both essential materials used in electric vehicle batteries.
With an abundance of important battery materials, public policy encouraging EV adoption, and a robust public transit plan for 2040, the city of Santiago and the nation of Chile are helping lead the global electrification movement.
For many urban transportation systems worldwide, the future is electric. Cities across the world are leading the way in electrified transportation, powering a greener, more efficient tomorrow.