11.–12.06.2025 #polismobility

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Actual demand for new battery and hydrogen buses is outstripping EU targets. However, there are major differences between countries. That's why one NGO is calling for the EU to set earlier targets for completely locally emission-free buses.

MAN's electric bus solutions for sustainable mobility © MAN

MAN's electric bus solutions for sustainable mobility © MAN

The currently tendered Clean Vehicles Directive does not require zero-emission buses to exceed 30% until after 2025. From 2019 to 2021 alone, demand grew from 12% to 23%. Projected growth assumes demand will reach 100% by 2026. If the forecast is correct, and the EU does not intervene, demand will exceed supply. The NGO Transport & Environment proposes a zero-emission requirement for urban bus sales by 2027: It says this would meet the supply-demand balance and also stimulate countries that are currently lagging behind in this area. Indeed, the differences between countries speak for themselves, although across Europe, 23% of newly registered buses fall under the "clean vehicle" category: Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia and Estonia have only a very small number of new registrations for zero-emission buses (less than one percent). Germany, Italy, Spain and France also fall behind with no more than two out of ten buses. The Netherlands, on the other hand, already achieved 100% new registrations in 2021, Finland 96% and Norway 78%. However, similar targets are also being pursued overseas: The U.S. state of California has already enacted a similar directive for the target year 2029. In general, the supply for the buses does not come from far away, as 75 % of it is in European hands. In addition, companies such as Daimler and MAN promise to produce exclusively zero-emission buses by 2030.