What is the ECOBUS

18 January 2018

Lab Chat

Alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AFVs) are on the rise. Countries across the world are announcing bans on the sale of petrol and diesel cars, with China expected to announce similar plans eventually. But it’s not just cars that are the problem. Read on as we look at EcoBus, the latest eco-friendly development in the UAE. Busy on the buses

Buses are one of the most commonly used forms of public transport across the world. They cover more local routes than other modes of transport and are usually among the cheapest options. Since launching in 2008, Abu Dhabi’s Public Bus Transportation Service has grown to offer nearly 100 routes with over 650 buses. It’s now used by more than 50 million passengers.

Reducing emissions

Buses are already good for environment. Like other forms of public transport, they allow several people to travel together, removing the need for several separate vehicles travelling to the same destination.

But they still emit the same particulate matter, greenhouse gases and nitrogen oxides as other petrol and diesel vehicles. With so many routes and passengers, it’s clearly beneficial to try and tackle the emissions from buses themselves.

Introducing the EcoBus

That’s why Masdar and Hafilat Industry have collaborated on the EcoBus – a bus that’s powered solely by electricity. With an engine provided by Siemens, the vehicle can travel for 150km on a full charge. Because it’s powered by electricity, it has no direct emissions and vastly reduces emissions on the whole. Despite arguments that emissions from electricity production make up for the cut in direct emissions, studies have found that there is still a cut of at least 40% as a whole.

When will the EcoBus start operating?

Unfortunately for those ready to jump on board, the first model which was on show at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week is a prototype. Trails at Masdar City are next on the agenda for the EcoBus, which will be assessed for its performance in the hot and dry UAE conditions.

Urban sustainability will increasingly be defined by innovation in mobility, and Masdar City will be at the centre of this shift towards more sustainable transport solutions," explained Masdar’s Executive director of Sustainable Real Estate, Yousef Baselaib. "The Eco-Bus is an impressive example of homegrown clean-tech innovation and a model collaboration between UAE and international experts. Rolling out the Eco-Bus for use at Masdar City will hopefully inspire other UAE clean-tech innovators while enhancing the

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