Sao Paulo forbids the purchase of diesel buses
In Brazil, the public transport authority for the city of São Paulo, SPTrans, has just banned bus companies from purchasing new diesel buses. The mega-metropolis in the south of the country has one of the largest bus fleets in Latin America, with more than 13,000 vehicles.
Some key points of the diesel procurement ban have emerged from an announcement made by the C40 Cities initiative. The network of mayors collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed to confront the climate crisis has been joined by almost 100 cities worldwide – including São Paulo. Although existing diesel buses in the economic metropolis of Brazil can remain in service until the end of their useful life, the ban means that the bus companies contractually bound to SPTrans may only procure emission-free buses from now on.
By the end of 2024, at least 2,600 of the city’s 13,000 buses are to be electric, which represents about one-fifth of the bus fleet. Currently, 201 trolleybuses and 18 battery-electric buses acquired through a pilot project as part of the ZEBRA initiative are the only electric buses operating in São Paulo.
The ambitious time schedule is the city’s attempt to comply with its climate protection law and 2021-2024 target programme. The C40 organisation says it has been working with São Paulo since 2019 to support the city’s transition to a zero-emission bus fleet under the umbrella of the ZEBRA partnership and, more recently, through the TUMI E-Bus Mission programme.
Elsewhere in South America, C40 Cities says that earlier this year, the Colombian capital Bogotá also stopped procuring fossil fuel buses. The Chinese manufacturer BYD already supplies a four-digit number of electric buses to the metropolis. Over in Brazil, public transport companies may soon have a very short journey to BYD electric buses: Just last month, BYD announced that it was considering the production of electric vehicles and processing battery raw materials in Brazil.