Ten electric buses began operating on the streets of Jerusalem on Wednesday as part of the implementation of a government initiative to reduce air pollution in Israel's capital city. The buses were added to the 15 line which runs from the Central Bus Station to Talpiot.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection gave Egged a NIS 4 million subsidy to purchase the electric buses, which have zero pollution emissions, less than half of the greenhouse gas emissions than diesel buses, and quieter operation.

The drivers of the electric buses have been specially trained for their operation and will be the only ones permitted to drive them. A designated parking lot with charging stations was established in the Egged parking lot near the Ramot Junction in Jerusalem.

"The electric buses are charged for about five hours and can travel for 200 kilometers (124 miles) between charges," the Ministry of Environmental Protection said.

The buses were imported from China, where most of the world's electric buses are manufactured.

"Jerusalem is leading the public transportation revolution in Israel," said Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Leon. "For 8 years, the city has been enjoying the benefits of the light rail, which has changed the public transportation habits of Jerusalemites and made the city cleaner, healthier, and more beautiful. The electric buses are another significant pillar in the creation of a preference for public transport, and this time, the benefit is for everyone - passengers, private car drivers, and the environment."

"The residents of Jerusalem deserve to breathe clean air," said Environmental Protection Minister MK Zeev Elkin. "For the first time in Jerusalem, we are proud to add electric buses to Egged's travel system, which will significantly reduce the level of pollutant emissions as well as the noise caused by old diesel engines. This is news for Jerusalemites, and in the future, dozens of other electric buses will operate in the capital. This move is joined by a number of other moves we are making at the Ministry of Environmental Protection, such as the creation of a low-emissions zone in Jerusalem, funding shuttles to industrial zones, and subsidizing bicycle-sharing services - so that Jerusalem residents can enjoy both clean air and a better quality of life."