In 2020, buses made up roughly 7% of global transport emissions. Electrifying buses could pioneer a new age of cleaner, more accessible urban transport. However, adoption is not accelerating fast enough to keep global temperature rise below 2 degrees C. WRI’s e-bus adoption studies revealed six key barriers to adoption: lack of operational knowledge, technical limitations, inflexible procurement practices, non-scalable financing, institutional limitations and pilot paralysis.

The TUMI E-Bus Mission is working with six global partners to dramatically advance electric bus adoption across leading cities in the Global South. This mission is part of the Action Towards Climate Friendly Transport (ACT) initiative and Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI), an implementation initiative on sustainable mobility, and is supported by BMZ.

The program works closely with 20 targeted “deep dive” cities and mass scaling to at least 500 additional cities through a city-to-city mentorship program to facilitate large-scale change. Global and local partnership will provide participating cities with deep technical assistance to create localized momentum, driving national and sub-national activities to overcome e-bus adoption barriers. These activities will facilitate the adoption of more than 100,000 e-buses, which will result in an estimated reduction of more than 15 megatons of CO2 over the useful lives of the buses. The ecosystem platform developed by the TUMI E-Bus Project will also be primed for future application to other types of transport electrification.

The TUMI E-Bus Mission works in three areas:

1. Coalition Building

WRI supports our partners in growing and strengthening global, national, regional and local coalitions. At the global level, the TUMI E-Bus Mission requires a broad coalition of stakeholders to address the challenges in e-bus adoption. At the regional and city levels, WRI international offices and partners establish “sub-coalitions” to provide locally relevant support to cities and develop capacity among key stakeholders.

2. Deep Technical Assistance

WRI helps define e-bus adoption targets that are timebound, ambitious, and achievable in each city. To help cities achieve these targets, WRI and its partners are developing a tailored implementation work plan for each city. Regional and local partners will lead efforts to implement these work plans through formal adoption in cities, as well as by providing a range of technical assistance and evaluating city progress.

3. City-to-City Mentorship

To scale e-bus adoption, WRI will extend best practices to at least 500 “mentee” cities over the course of the project. WRI and partners will work with the 20 deep dive cities to disseminate technical assistance, trainings, and workshops to the mentee cities located in their regions. These materials explore overall planning for e-bus mass adoption, operations and logistics considerations, financing, procurement strategies, and training requirements for bus operators and maintenance teams.

TUMI E-Bus Mission projects map

Cover image credit: Daniel Cano Gomez/WRI