Australia is slowly coming around to the benefits of electric propulsion for city buses, however momentum appears to be much slower than many other parts of the world.
Operators in Europe, China, North America and the UK have enthusiastically embraced electric buses, now the shift away from diesel is on even in the oil-rich, Middle East.
Locally, Adelaide and the ACT are leading way on electric bus trials/operations and Scania is trialling a hybrid city bus, but we’re seemingly years behind some of the world’s biggest cities.
Abu Dhabi, a city of nearly 3 million people is now home to the latest fully-electric passenger bus service.
The result of a partnership between the Department of Transport, bus manufacturer Hafilat Industry LLC (part owned by Volgren) and electrical component manufacturer, Siemens, the service includes six stops between a major shopping mall and the city centre.
They tell us the 30-seat bus has been designed to withstand the heat and humidity of the UAE climate and has a range of 150 kilometres per battery charge.
Solar panels are also used to power the Eco-Bus’s auxiliary systems.
“We have provided specific solutions to adapt this bus to the UAE environment and to meet the Department of Transport’s specifications.” – Iyad Al Ansari, the CEO of Hafilat Industry LLC
The Hafilat name may be familiar to some in the Australian bus industry, the manufacturer (via Volgren) has previously supplied low-floor city buses to Melbourne.
Driven by a Siemens traction system, Uwe Troeger from Siemens Middle East, says the driveline is virtually maintenance-free.
“This technology has been proven around the world and we’re pleased to be bringing it to the UAE for local innovation in efficient, sustainable transportation,”
“This project is a great combination of the right technology and the right partners, and supports the development of environmentally friendly transport infrastructure in the UAE.”
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