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Bus Operators and the new Energy Industry


Brussels, October 21th - 23th , 2019

Enel Foundation  joined  the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) at the “International Bus Conference”, the biggest event focused on road public transportation trends for cities,  held in conjunction with Busworld Europe in Brussels from 21 to 23 October.

Deputy Director João Duarte delivered a keynote speech and moderated a panel focused on “Business Opportunities for the New Energy Industry”, attended by representatives of The Mobility HouseVolvo Buses and BYD Europe B.V..

The discussion focused specifically on the new energy industry, discussing issues related to smart charging for electric buses, trying to address questions like whether bidirectional charging can unlock the potential for bus-based energy storage to meet the grid. With nearly
300 thousand fast chargers installed globally, and roughly half of these dedicated to buses, the charging pattern of electric buses (at depot during the night and on route with pantographs during the day) can open new opportunities for energy services.

According to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Global EV Outlook 2019, at the end of 2018 there were 460 thousand electrified public buses in the world, with China taking the lead as biggest market. With a growth rate of 25% from the previous year, the adoption of electric buses outside China has been driven by innovative procurement schemes, such as the one deployed by Enel X in Santiago del Chile. In addition, the implementation of significant policy instruments, such as the EU fuel economy standards for cars and trucks and the Clean Vehicles Directive, which provides for public procurement of electric buses, will keep this segment growing in the coming years.

Bloomberg’s BNEF estimates that by 2040, 80% of the global municipal bus fleet will be electric, with important consequences in the levels of global emissions and decreased in air pollution at city levels. An update of the World Health Organization (WHO) records in fact that in 2018, 97% of cities in low and middle-income countries with more than 100,000 inhabitants did not meet the WHO air quality standards, with serious health consequences for the citizens involved.

With the advent of energy transition, UITP and its 1.700 members including public transport authorities and operators from 100 countries will continue their journey, with Enel Foundation closely monitoring how bus operators approach the new energy industry, continuing to advance their major bus business while also expanding the ancillary business opportunities.