The NSW transport minister wants to clean up Sydney and prevent "scary" levels of air pollution by going electric where possible, including when it comes to the city's increasingly in-demand buses.
Andrew Constance on Monday also urged the federal government to "cough up" to help fund the city's new driverless train projects.
The minister told the Committee for Economic Development of Australia that diesel vehicles were a major contributor to toxic conditions and London had sought to tackle the problem by creating low emission zones and the largest electric bus fleet in Europe.
Bus patronage in Sydney has increased by 50 per cent in six years with demand growing faster than for train services.
"We have to meet these challenges head-on and learn from cities like London and be proactive," Mr Constance said in Sydney.
"Everything, as much as possible, should be electrified."
The minister said some electric buses were already running in Sydney's inner west, with more to come in Randwick, but almost 8000 diesel buses are in operation across the city.
The Berejiklian government announced last week it was privatising Sydney's remaining state-run bus services although it used the term "franchising".
Public transport operators will be invited to bid for contracts for 13 of the city's bus contract regions over the next three years.
"I'm challenging the industry to begin an ambitious transformation of our bus fleet from particulate-emitting diesel to zero-emission buses," Mr Constance said on Monday.
"If leading European cities can do this so can we."
Mr Constance said the light rail would also be a game-changer for the environment, and described the driverless north-west Metro as "100 per cent green".
He said with the construction of new Metro projects the city would go from being a car city to a train city "quite literally overnight".
He suggested NSW could build the Metro West project alone but, eventually, federal funds would be needed.
"There comes a time when we will need our friends in Canberra to make a contribution to Metro trains in the city," the Liberal MP said.
"We're putting in billions of dollars worth of infrastructure now around the new western Sydney airport and the feds want that infrastructure open before the airport.
"So, on that basis, I believe they need to cough up - and cough up a lot."
Australian Associated Press