Olaf Scholz, Mayor of Hamburg and Michael Müller, Mayor of Berlin, signed an agreement Tuesday (August 30th) at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate to purchase emission-free busses for public transport. Under the agreement, state transport operators will order 200 busses per year thereby sending an important signal to carmakers.
Only emission-free busses from 2020
Scholz said: “Berlin and Hamburg as large modern cities face the challenge of achieving inner-city mobility and clean air for all thei6r residents.” Berlin and Hamburg have a fleet of around 2,900 busses making the cities the biggest users of busses in Europe. Carmakers could be certain of finding a market through their combined order, Scholz added and urged other cities and communities in Germany to join their initiative.
The signal to carmakers comes after the Hamburg Hochbahn vowed to purchase only emission-free busses from 2020. However, a report by Nahverkehr Hamburg said the German car industry is not yet in a position to undertake serial production of alternative drives.
Examining innovative drives
Henrik Falk, CEO of Hamburger Hochbahn, said: “Together with other transport companies, we can now be more forceful on the market to achieve goals set by politics.” Falk mentioned Bus No. 109 in Hamburg as an example of the company’s innovative bus lines. At present, diesel-electric hybrid busses, battery-run busses and fuel cell busses are being examined for everyday use. The company is also building its first yard for a fleet of completely emission-free busses, Falk added.
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