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Ningbo Bus Travel How to Add “New Green”?
2019-04-07Text Size: A A A

All-electric student pick-up bus is more comfortable and stable. (photo by Zhang Yan and Dong Meiqiao)

Ningbo Bus Company employee self-developed all-electric vehicle dust collector. (Photo by Zhang Yanjiangjie)

(Drawing by Han Liping)

According to personal experience of the driver of Ningbo No.36 bus, “The buses in Ningbo have cut off the ‘black tail’, coming standard with the direction of power and air conditioning, and more and more vehicles are using green energy...”

Ningbo is actively building a green transportation city after being appraised as a demonstration city for the construction of a national transit city. Today, more than two out of every three buses are green energy buses, with an annual reduction of carbon dioxide emissions of about 4000 tons.

A sound ecological environment is the most equitable public product and the most beneficial to the people. As one of the three elements of transportation, how to give play to the role of public goods, add “new green” to bus travel, and add well-being to green transportation, green travel and green city?

Popular Green Travel

Recently, the “five consecutive increases” in oil prices did not make Miss Bao feel unaffordable. "Every day, I take the No.2 bus to Zemin Station. After arriving at the station, I change to ride a shared bicycle to work. Private cars are only used on rest days and the fuel cost is less than 200 yuan a month." Miss Bao speaks slowly.

With the rapid development of public transport, people in Ningbo feel convenient to travel. In downtown Ningbo, more than 1.7 million people take public transportation every day, of which about 360,000 take rail transportation and nearly 100,000 ride public bicycles. From buses to public bicycles to rail transit, our city has spent nearly 100 billion yuan in the past five years.

At present, Ningbo has completed the first phase of rail transit line 1 and line 2, and line 3 will be opened within a year. The accessibility of public transportation in key areas such as Zhongshan Road Business Circle, Beilun District Combination Group, Northern Higher Education Park, Ningbo Railway Complex Hub Station and Lishe International Airport has been effectively improved. Two years ago, the inter-city railway from Ningbo to Yuyao was opened, which became the first inter-city EMU line in China running on existing lines and realizing“public transportation” of railway passenger transport.

The convenient public transportation makes many people like Mr.Fu give up their private cars and use public transportation instead. Since 2013, motorized travel sharing rate and bus passenger satisfaction of public transportation in the central urban area of Ningbo have increased by 15% and 5% respectively. Green and low-carbon public transportation is becoming a new trend in the city. Taking the just-released transportation data of tomb-sweeping day as an example, in the weekend before the tomb-sweeping day in 2019, 42,000 people in our city chose to take buses to sweep tombs, and the public transportation volume reached 110,000 person-times, which greatly alleviated the traffic congestion in the city.

Choose Buses as Green Vehicles

Not only is the public transportation system more convenient, but the buses in Ningbo are also “green”.

As early as 10 years ago, the voice of promoting energy-saving and new energy vehicles was very high. In early 2009, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Science and Technology jointly introduced a financial subsidy scheme for demonstration and promotion of green energy vehicles. For small green energy vehicles with different powers, the maximum subsidy ranges from 50,000 yuan to 250,000 yuan per vehicle. Urban buses with a length of more than 10 meters are the focus of this subsidy. The maximum subsidy for hybrid buses is 420,000 yuan, and for all-electric and fuel cell buses, 500,000 yuan and 600,000 yuan respectively.

At the same time, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Finance, the Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology jointly launched the “Ten Cities and One Thousand Vehicles Project” to focus on promoting the development of new energy vehicles in the field of public transportation in large and medium-sized cities. After 10 years, Ningbo's green energy bus has replaced a large number of traditional automobile and diesel buses, and built a green landscape on urban roads.

On the morning of January 28, 2010, 82 buses in Ningbo Duantang Bus and Passenger Transportation Center were unveiled collectively with striking Chinese characters of “Healthy, Environmental and Green Travel” and "CNG" in English printed on the body. The next day, they were officially "serving" and became the first compressed natural gas bus put into use in the central city, which kicked off promoting the use of clean energy bus in Ningbo.

Since the introduction of clean energy buses in 2010, besides compressed natural gas buses, LNG, oil-electricity hybrid, all-electricity and other energy-driven buses have also been on the road. In order to speed up the landing of new energy public transportation projects, in 2014, the municipal government issued a special implementation plan, clearly demanding that “demonstration and promotion should be taken as an important force, and the use of new energy vehicles should be vigorously promoted in the public bus, taxi and other industries”. Public transportation undertakes the important task of promoting the use of new energy vehicles.

In 2015, the world’s first supercapacitor energy storage modern tram bus line No.196 opened in Yinzhou District of Ningbo. Ultracapacitor buses have no exhaust emissions. Using passenger boarding and disembarking time, they can be charged and driven more than 5 kilometers in 30 seconds. When braking and downhill, 80% of braking energy is converted into energy recovery, storage and reuse. Ultracapacitor, the core component, can charge and discharge 1 million times repeatedly with service life as long as 10 years. It is known as “green traffic in the 21st century”.

In 2016, the Municipal Government of Ningbo formulated the “Implementation Plan for Promotion and Application of New Energy Vehicles in Ningbo from 2016 to 2020”, and proposed to actively promote the application of new energy vehicles focusing on public transportation and other fields. By 2020, the city plans to launch 2050 electric and plug-in buses. By the end of 2018, 3361 new energy buses had been put into operation in our city, exceeding the target.

Green public transportation leads environmental protection

The low-carbon and energy-saving buses on the roads are the model of green transportation, which drives more vehicles to join the “green” ranks.

“The reason for the priority development of green energy vehicles is the low-carbon characteristics of public transportation. However, the policy dividend is gradually decreasing with the increasing popularity of new energy vehicles. Therefore, how to adhere to green development and promote green energy vehicles will become a key research topic for the government and transportation companies.” said insiders.

In addition, the construction of supporting facilities such as charging piles cannot be ignored. Today, many bus stations are equipped with a green small square charger. The bus can be charged during the process of   passengers getting on and off when docking, which is very convenient and fast.

Can ordinary private cars also be charged more easily? It is reported that the city will build no less than 110 centralized charging stations for electric vehicles and no less than 41,800 distributed charging piles in 2020, so as to meet the charging needs of 50,000 electric vehicles, the urban public charging service radius is less than 0.9 km, and the ratio of public charging piles to electric vehicles is no less than 1:7. In addition, The city’s expressway service area will be covered roundly; a new energy vehicle operation monitoring service management platform will be established to guarantee security for new energy vehicles.

In addition to the basic guarantee provided by the government, the private sector is also vigorously promoting green energy vehicles. The repairman Zhao and his colleagues from Yongan Bus Company moved a large machine of two meters wide to the rear cabin of the electric bus. The bus’s engine was cleaned up after about 10 minutes. It is a device that Master Zhao and his colleagues spent three months independently developing, which can quickly and environmentally remove dust from pure electric vehicle electric frequency storage.

“With the centralized air supply system to provide airflow and use a blow gun to remove dust, it is a way to remove dust from the electric vehicle’s electric frequency bin. Although it is easy to operate, dust can be dispersed in the air during use, which will affect the health of the employees and the surrounding environment.” Master Zhao said that the two-step process of blowing first and then vacuuming has achieved effective dust removal and greatly reduced floating dust.

Although green energy buses, especially electric buses, have the advantages of stable start, fast speed, pollution-free, low noise, high energy efficiency and easy operation, they are also troubled by the range, charging time, battery life and other problems, and need to further strengthen technology research and development.

Promoting green transportation for all citizens

“Nowadays, the comfort level of buses is constantly improved, the noise of engines is reduced to the minimum, and the vibration of vehicles is almost imperceptible.” Many citizens said.

Ningbo has experienced the conversion from smoky diesel and low-standard gasoline vehicles to CNG (compressed natural gas) vehicles, LNG (liquefied natural gas) vehicles, and zero-emission supercapacitor buses. In just 10 years, Ningbo has replaced the traditional steam and diesel buses with green energy buses and built a green landscape on the city roads.

The rail transit line 1 and first phase of line 2 has been put into operation. The “public transportation” of railway transportation has been realized between Yuyao and Ningbo; public bicycle rental points can be seen everywhere on the streets; the shared motorcycles “Xiaoliu” have added 400,000 new users a year. The green, convenient and efficient urban public transport system has enabled many citizens to switch to public transport instead of private cars.

In addition, the number of small new energy vehicles with green licenses is also increasing.

In January 2011, the city’s first pure electric private car was registered at the city’s vehicle management office. In 2013, the city was identified as one of the first batch of 28 pilot cities for the promotion and application of new energy vehicles. In recent years, the city has formulated a series of documents such as “2016-2020 Ningbo New Energy Vehicle Promotion and Application Implementation Plan”, “Special Plan for the Development of Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure in the Downtown Area of Ningbo”, and proposed the goal of promoting new energy vehicles with no less than 30,000 standard vehicles during the 13th Five-Year Plan period.  The city will build no less than 110 centralized charging stations for electric vehicles and no less than 41,800 distributed charging piles in 2020. With policy support and continuous improvement of supporting facilities, citizens will also be more inclined to new energy vehicles when purchasing private cars.

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