Electric buses: purchase of bus stock (130 low-floor, low-emission buses) with associated infrastructure

Location: Warsaw, Poland

Population: 1,794,166 (capital population)

Climate: Oceanic

Duration: 2020-2029

Sector: Transportation

Funding sources: Public

City networks: C40


Savings: Starting in 2021, the annual CO2 reduction will be 13 520 t CO2.

Solutions: Purchase bus fleet (130 low-floor, low-emission buses) and supporting infrastructure.

Multiple benefits: Pollutants reduction and financial savings


Objective – Contribute to Poland’s shift toward electric mobility.

Solutions – The Warsaw electric buses project entails replacing 10% of the Warsaw MZA municipal bus operator’s vehicle stock with 18m articulated electric buses, as well as creating associated infrastructure, such as the construction of aerial chargers at the ends of selected bus lines and the adaptation of bus depots.

FundingCo-financing for the project comes from the Polish Operational Program “Infrastructure and Environment,” which administers EU aid funds. According to the agreement, the project’s overall cost will be 89.5 million USD, including 47.5 million USD in external financing. The remaining 42 million USD will be financed by the applicant – the MZA bus operator, which the City of Warsaw wholly owns.

Innovation – 1) This is the most extensive e-bus initiative in Central and Eastern Europe. It is also the most significant project to secure EU aid funds. 2) Furthermore, it is the primary project directly addressing the problem of transportation-generated air pollution, which has been developing in Warsaw in recent years. 3) In terms of technical advancements, the utilization of opportunity charging (also a novelty in Central and Eastern Europe) in the form of 19 aerial chargers positioned at the ends of bus lines is noteworthy. Due to the great power of these chargers (200-400 kW), buses do not require additional charging time: their stops at the end of bus lines last the same amount of time as diesel buses.

Success factors: 1) Polish are still sceptical of electric vehicles, believing they waste money. However, passengers welcomed the electric buses in Warsaw before the present scheme. They appreciated the noise reduction of these vehicles and how little pollution they produced. Warsaw and MZA decided to expand the initiative beyond the first three batches of 10-12m e-buses, with up to 130 18m buses ordered in 2019-2020. 2) In addition, it is believed that the lengthier buses will help convince more passengers of the benefits of e-mobility. 3) E-buses are also being promoted among Polish cities and bus operators.


Significant outcomes:

  • The fuel consumption of a diesel bus amounts to around 49 dm3/100 km amount to as much as 1,040t. Therefore, with 130 e-buses in the Warsaw project, the resulting total reduction of on-road CO2 emissions will equal 135,200t, which is a very significant number;
  • During the first ten years of the project (2020-2029), lowering emissions will save roughly 22% (from 3,761,799 USD/year to 4,831,833 USD/year) of environmental costs. These 10-year savings total 42,863,220 USD.

Synergies with local policies:

Political alignment:

  • Law 317/2018 on electromobility and alternative fuels provides a system of incentives to encourage the use of alternative fuel vehicles, primarily electric vehicles, and also introduces procedures for commencing investments in the necessary infrastructure (sources)
  • Green Public Transport program. On November 10th, 2020, the Polish government announced a new proposal to establish a 286 million euro fund to promote local governments’ purchases of at least 500 electric or hydrogen-powered buses;
  • Electromobility Development Plan. This document lays out the government’s policy for promoting the spread of electromobility in Poland. It aims to improve energy demand management, stabilize the power grid, increase energy security, improve air quality, facilitate the adoption of new habits such as shared mobility, and develop research and industry. The plan identifies steps to support supply and demand that the country could implement (source);
  • National Energy and Climate Plan for the years 2021-2030 was created to build a stable framework for a long-term, cost-effective, and equitable reform of the energy sector and the entire economy.

Marketability: Implementation of technical improvements as opportunity charging.

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Sector: Transport

Country / Region: Poland

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In 1 user collection: Good practices of cities

Knowledge Object: User generated Initiative

Published by: C40