JERUSALEM, May 4 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP) on Tuesday announced the allocation of 59.2 million new shekels (18.2 million U.S. dollars) for the purchase of 220 electric buses for public transportation in Israel.
This purchase will triple the number of electric buses operating in the country, now standing at 109.
The new buses will enter service in nine cities in Israel, including Tel Aviv-Yafo and Haifa, two of the largest cities in the country.
For the first time, articulated and intercity electric buses will enter service in Israel, as well as electric minibuses.
By 2025, every new municipal bus in Israel will be electric, as part of the ministry's goals to reduce air pollution and deal with the climate crisis.
Today, diesel-powered buses in Israel emit about 16 percent of the total nitrogen oxides and about seven percent of the total soot particles from vehicles, although they make up less than one percent of the total vehicles in the country.
The ministry's support for purchasing the new buses was coordinated and assisted by Israel's National Public Transport Authority, the Finance Ministry, and the National Smart Transportation Program at the Prime Minister's Office.
"Moving to electric buses will improve the quality of life in cities, reduce noise nuisances, improve the image of public transportation, reduce dependence on imported oil, and facilitate planning procedures for new public transportation facilities," the MoEP concluded.