Besides the obviously fabulous implications of an entire city switching to emission-free buses (and ferries too!), and committing to run them on renewables, this marks yet another sign that incrementalism is on its way out when it comes to kicking fossil fuels. In fact, if a quote attributed to the city’s transport alderman Abdeluheb Choho is correct, that's the whole idea behind this announcement:
“This project means we are saying goodbye to symbolic behaviour and pilot projects. We have decided to just do it, not to experiment with five buses.”
One thing about pilot projects is that they are very, very expensive in terms of what you get for your money. From solar power to energy storage, we report on so many important and worthy pilot projects here at TreeHugger. But at some point, those pilot projects have to turn into mainstream reality. And when they do, costs come down dramatically.
We are already seeing that in terms of clean energy.
So as Amsterdam bets big on electric buses, we should see a huge increase in adoption elsewhere too. Indeed, other cities are already on board too. Helsinki, for example,plans to have 400 electric buses by 2025, representing nearly 40% of its fleet. Another 20% or so will be hybrids.