Buses in Shenzhen Bus Company’s main charging depot in Futian. Photograph: Matthew Keegan You have to keep your eyes peeled for the bus at the station in Shenzhen’s Futian central business district these days. The diesel behemoths that once signalled their arrival with a piercing hiss, a rattle of engine and a plume of fumes are no more, replaced with the world’s first and largest 100% electric bus fleet. Shenzhen now has 16,000 electric buses in total and is noticeably quieter for it. “We find that the buses are so quiet that people might not hear them coming,” says Joseph Ma, deputy general manager at Shenzhen Bus Group, the largest of the three main bus companies in the city. “In fact, we’ve received requests to add some artificial noise to the buses so that people can hear them. We’re considering it.” We’ve received requests to add artificial noise to the buses so people can hear them Joseph Ma The benefits from the switch from diesel buses to electric are not confined to less noise pollution: this fast-growing megacity of 12 million – which was a fishing village until designated China’s first “special economic zone” in the 1980s – is […]

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