Oslo is set to become the world’s first capital city with an all-electric public transport system. The city is aiming for that target by the end of 2023, as part of its goal of becoming the world’s first totally emission-free city by 2030.
The boost to Oslo’s network of public transport involves replacing its diesel-powered buses with 450 electric ones under a 500 million kronor (€48 million) program that Sirin Stav, deputy mayor responsible for environment and transport, says will save the city money in the long run.
“Maintenance is cheaper, it’s also less expensive for the operators of the electric buses,” she told news agency Reuters. “All in all, this is a win-win situation.” Stav is encouraging other cities to follow Oslo’s example. According to Euronews, the city has already electrified most of the ferries navigating on the fjord. Stay has noted that in its last tender, electric buses were 5% cheaper than diesel equivalents.
Maintenance is cheaper. All in all, this is a win-win situation.Sirin Stav, deputy mayor responsible for environment and transport
Stav is encouraging other cities to follow Oslo’s example. According to Euronews, the city has already electrified most of the ferries navigating on the fjord. Stay has noted that in its last tender, electric buses were 5% cheaper than diesel equivalents.
Oslo’s move comes amid a global push by the world’s major cities to try to reduce air pollution, and as governments and activists finalize preparations for next month’s COP27 UN climate summit in Egypt.
Ingvild Roerholt, an advisor on transport issues at ZERO, a Norwegian environmental group, said the launch of the bus marked an important step forward for the city. “It is important for Oslo in the future to ensure that there is transparency on the amount of emissions associated with the production of these shuttles and vehicles,” she said.
The Norwegian capital has one of the most ambitious environmental strategies on the planet. A 95% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to 2009, is one of the priority objectives of the Oslo 2030 climate strategy.
The city is accelerating towards this goal with a number of concrete initiatives to meet it. A look at its downtown streets, once filled with parking lots that are now gardens or bike lanes is an example of the transformation it is undergoing. In 2020, Norway became the first country in the world where electric cars accounted for more than 50% of new registrations.