The future is electric for Hong Kong’s bus fleet, says the world’s largest manufacturer Alexander Dennis

“Electricity is the most efficient way to move people around the region. We are focusing our development on electric buses now.”

First Alexander Denis Double decker electric bus In Hong Kong, the Enviro500EV entered service on Saturday for the city’s largest bus operator Kowloon Motor Bus (KMB).
“We see electric buses as the future here, because there is an abundant supply of electricity,” says Andy Bolton, managing director of Alexander Dennis. Photo: Jonathan Wong

KMB has purchased 10 Enviro500EV buses, two of which have started service on bus line 112 from North Point to Cheung Sha Wan.

The UK-made electric bus can carry 122 passengers, the same number as diesel double-decker city buses. After two hours of charging, it can travel a distance of 350 kilometers, which is enough to meet more than 80 percent of the daily operating needs of KMB’s bus fleet, according to the operator.

With every liter of diesel burned generating about 2.65kg of carbon dioxide, moving forward with electric vehicles will help improve roadside air quality in Hong Kong, Bolton added.

“A bus like this will cost about 60 percent more than its diesel counterpart. A lot of that will be (because of) the batteries,” Bolton said.

Although electricity is cheaper than diesel at present, new charging and maintenance facilities, mechanical training and battery replacement costs make deploying electric buses an expensive business, according to a KMB spokesman.

“Only if enough time and volume of electric buses are put into service can the overall fuel cost savings by replacing diesel with electricity be justified,” he said.

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Public transportation in China is becoming more environmentally friendly with the advent of electric buses on the streets

Public transportation in China is becoming more environmentally friendly with the advent of electric buses on the streets

KMB has set a target to upgrade its entire fleet to new energy buses by 2040, in line with the Hong Kong government’s goal of achieving zero vehicle emissions before mid-century.

Alexander Dennis plans to bring other types of battery-powered vehicles to the city.

“Later this year, we will launch our Enviro100EV…the shortest and smallest single-decker vehicle (in Hong Kong),” Bolton said.

“It’s a little bigger than a green minibus here, but we think it will be ideal for rehabilitation buses, hospital transport and residential transport for example. All these things are perfect for this minibus which is incredibly maneuverable and can accommodate up to 28 passengers.

Alexander Dennis is building a prototype of the electric bus in Zhuhai through a subcontracting partnership with Zhuhai Guangtong Vehicle Manufacturing Company, which will arrive in Hong Kong in October, he said.

“Manufacturing in Zhuhai helps keep costs down,” Bolton said. “However, all important chassis components are shipped from Europe, so the total cost is still more expensive than a bus supplied purely from China.”

(TagsTranslated)Alexander Dennis

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