UAE's Masdar set to begin trials of eco-bus concept

Energy firm says all-electric Eco-Bus will be able to travel 150km on a single charge
By Staff writer
Fri 19 Jan 2018 01:25 AM

Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, better known as Masdar, has unveiled the all-electric Eco-Bus as a template for future sustainable public transport solutions.

Unveiled at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2018, the working prototype was jointly developed by Masdar and Abu Dhabi-based Hafilat Industry in collaboration with the Masdar Institute, part of Khalifa University of Science and Technology.

Technology partner Siemens provided the bus’s engine giving the vehicle a range of 150 kilometres per charge while minimising the size and weight of its battery.

The Eco-Bus will shortly undergo trials at Masdar City in Abu Dhabi as engineers evaluate the performance of its battery and electrical systems in the UAE’s arid 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,” said Yousef Baselaib, executive director of Sustainable Real Estate at Masdar.

“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 performance of electric buses in hot climates.”

Khalid Al Hashim, executive director for Surface Transport at Abu Dhabi Department of Transport, added: “High temperatures throughout the year have been an obstacle to the wider use of electric vehicles in the Gulf, one the Eco-Bus promises to address.”

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), headquartered in Masdar City, transport accounts for 30 percent of total global energy consumption.

IRENA’s 2017 Global EV Outlook estimates that the number of electric buses worldwide doubled between 2015 and 2016 to reach 345,000.

Iyad Al Ansari, CEO of Hafilat Industry, said: “The Eco-Bus design is highly scalable, and we look forward to demonstrating the commercial viability of our prototype.”

The Eco-Bus has a lightweight aluminium body and uses more temperature-resistant, water-cool batteries located at its rear to enhance space efficiency. The bus features both advanced air-conditioning and electrochromic windows to enhance shading.

At 10.5 metres in length, the Eco-Bus is slighter shorter than a classic double-decker bus, roughly the same width at 2.5 metres, and more than a metre lower at 3.2 metres. It seats 27 with safe-standing room for additional passengers.

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