Is public transport electrically operated?

Public transport is good, electric public transport is better.

Those who use public transport reduce their ecological footprint. This is fundamentally undisputed. However, it is rarely discussed that public transport is not available at an ecological zero tariff.

The share of public transport in our current emissions is in the order of one percent. That could be called negligible. But if you consider that, on the one hand, we have to reduce our emissions by more than 90 percent (see article on the topic of climate neutrality) and, on the other hand, public transport (local public transport) should also increase significantly, the proportions look different: buses and trains would then with today's CO2- Emissions cause 15 or 20 percent of total future emissions - we cannot afford that.

The magic word (here too) is electrification. While rail transport (long-distance and regional trains, trams and underground trains) with less than 10 grams of CO2 per passenger-kilometer, diesel-powered buses cause at least 50-60 grams [source]. For comparison: Anyone who sits alone in a fossil-fuel car is responsible for around 250 grams per kilometer; In an electric car, depending on the electricity mix, we get by with around half (including upstream emissions and also including battery production) [source].

With the electric car, two people drive just as well (or badly) as with the diesel bus. The Zurich public transport company (VBZ) got to the bottom of the matter and had several alternatives investigated [source]. As a result, the company is now gradually converting to electrically powered buses. Instead of 1.6 kg of CO2 An 18 m bus with a VBZ power mix emits just 0.23 kg of CO per kilometer2 - a reduction of 85%! With an average occupancy of 20 percent (26 people) that corresponds to just under 10 grams of CO2 per person-kilometer. Here, too, all emissions were taken into account - battery and vehicle production as well as proportionate production and maintenance of the roadway.

Massive increase in efficiency, sector coupling and renewable energies - This trio will be anchored in many of our areas of life in the future. And as if by the way, we increase our quality of life: The buses purr pleasantly quietly without emitting a gram of fine dust or nitrogen oxide in the polluted metropolitan areas (except for fine dust caused by abrasion, see the details page of the VBZ).

What does sector coupling mean?

Emissions are traditionally assigned to four different sectors: building heating, transport, industry and energy supply.
Fossil forms of energy are now being partially replaced by electrical energy in all sectors: oil and gas heating by heat pumps, combustion engines by electric drives.

Synthetic gases from electrical energy of renewable origin can be used for industrial process heat. These shifts mean that emissions are no longer viewed in individual sectors, but together - the sectors are linked to one another.