China Goes All In on the Transit Revolution

Just one city’s fleet of electric buses is bigger than the five largest North American bus fleets combined.

An electric bus arrives at a transit depot in Shenzhen, China:

In 2009, the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen rolled out its first electric city bus. As of May of this year, it had 14,500 of them on the road — and by the end of this month, the city plans to have an all-electric fleet. Shenzhen’s efforts are another example of how China is leading the way in transforming urban transportation.

Shenzhen’s effort is striking in its scope. The largest city bus fleet in North America is in New York City, whose 5,700 buses put it well ahead of Los Angeles, New Jersey, suburban Chicago and Toronto. These five fleets total 14,200 buses.

Shenzhen’s fleet of electric buses is bigger than the five largest North American bus fleets combined. Not their electric bus fleets — their entire bus fleets.