Plan ready for transition to running exclusively on renewable energy in 2020

Work has started on the total transformation of the bus fleet in Oslo and Akershus, and from 2020 public transport will be powered using only renewable energy sources. Electric buses will be running on the streets of Oslo in a mere five years' time, and by 2025 around one-third of all buses will be electric. 

Bus - illustration


Healthy, green and attractive capital region

There are very high ambitions for public transport, and it is an agreed political goal that all growth in passenger traffic shall be met by public transport, cycling and walking. Handling traffic growth with environment-friendly mobility solutions is an important contribution to achieve Norway's climate goals and reduce local pollution. Stricter environmental requirements and new technological solutions are driving this process forward, and the goal is to help the capital region grow into a healthy, green and attractive place to live and work.

The "Fossil-free 2020" project

In June 2015 the board of Ruter adopted an ambitious plan whereby Oslo and Akershus will have only low- and zero-emission buses that run on renewable energy by 2020 and for further developments up to 2025. Ruter's fleet currently comprises some 1,100 buses, 77 per cent of which run on diesel. In the future most of the buses will be electric and have the necessary driving range to be able to cover long distances. Ruter is also considering introducing electric boats on its services on the Oslo fjord.

From diesel to electrification


The figures show Ruter's planned development from its current fleet of buses to a fossil-free bus fleet in 2020, and on to a partially electrified bus fleet in 2025.

Increased use of biogas

Ruter has come a long way in its efforts to try alternative fuels, such as biofuels and hydrogen. Biogas is already an important energy carrier for Ruter's buses, and the proportion of biogas buses will be increased in line with the increased production and availability of biogas in the region. The biogas that Ruter's buses use is produced locally in the region from food waste and sewage. Replacing diesel with biogas therefore yields massive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Five hydrogen fuel cell buses are currently being tested as part of the EU-supported CHIC programme (Clean Hydrogen in European Cities). This project has given Ruter good knowledge and experience, which will be useful in the ongoing work towards zero-emissions public transport. The number of hydrogen-powered buses in Akershus may increase after 2020.

Starting testing electric buses

In order to run exclusively on renewable energy in 2020, a large proportion of the buses will have to run on biofuels, especially locally produced biogas. At the same time, battery-powered electric buses will be phased in. Ruter's ambition is to have started establishing infrastructure in 2016 to allow a major test of electric buses. The battery-powered electric buses will be based on charging at end stops in Oslo in addition to overnight charging. The entire value chain for operation of electric buses will be tested. This will provide us, our suppliers and partners with the experience we need to be able to choose the most appropriate solutions in line with developments in technology.

Our goal is that over a third of the region's buses will be fully electric in 2025 and run on either battery or hydrogen. These buses will have zero emissions and will be much quieter. Total emissions from buses would then be reduced by 80–90 per cent. Further electrification using renewable energy will lead to the near elimination of greenhouse gas emissions from public transport.

The figure shows Ruter's planned change of the bus fleet in 2025 and beyond:


Ruter's environmental ambitions can be summarized as follows:

• In 2020 all means of transport will be powered only by renewable energy.
• In 2025 the entire bus fleet will be replaced with zero- and low-emission technology.
• In 2025 the greenhouse gas emissions from Ruter's bus operations will be reduced by 80–90 per cent.
• In 2025 60 per cent of the bus fleet in Oslo will be fully electric.
• In 2025 around 500 buses will run on biogas.
• It is estimated that in 2025 the changes in technology and fuel in the bus fleet will result in added costs for bus operations of around 2–10 per cent per year, compared with the current bus fleet.
• Trams and the Metro already run on certified renewable electricity.

Report on Ruter's plan to become fossil-free by 2020

Ruter's plan is based on a comprehensive analysis of which solutions are best suited to the region. The basis for the analysis has been developed by the consulting firm Roland Berger.

Download and read the full report "Renewable energy powertrain options for Ruter".