Singapore will be getting 60 new electric buses, which start rolling out progressively for passenger service from early 2020.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced this on 11 November 2019, as part of its push to have a full fleet of public buses running on cleaner energy by 2040.
When these electric buses are deployed, the CO2 carbon emissions from buses will be reduced by approximately 7,840 tons annually.
LTA says this is equivalent to removing the CO2 carbon emissions of 1,700 cars annually.
Through a tender awarded in October 2018, the 60 e-buses are made by Chinese firms Yutong and BYD, and Singapore’s ST Engineering Land Systems, costing S$50 million in total.
They will progressively arrive in Singapore between Q4 2019 and H1 2020.
The first of these buses were displayed at the Ulu Pandan Bus Depot on 11 November.
The showcase also included one electric bus that had been retrofitted from a diesel bus, as a proof-of-concept trial to determine the feasibility of converting existing diesel buses to electric buses.
TODAY reported that the Yutong and BYD buses are built to travel about 200km to 300km on a full charge, after being charged for two to four hours.
Besides being better for the environment, the new e-buses also have some upgrades to make them more user-friendly:
More Peaceful And Inclusive Bus Rides
If you like a quieter commute to zone out of your surroundings after a long day of work, the e-buses may be a tiny bit of good news for you.
According to LTA, the ambient noise level produced by the e-buses’ electric motor is around 75 decibels, which is 3 decibels lower than current diesel-fuelled buses.
On top of that, the new e-buses are moving in the direction of more inclusive public transport.
For one, the pole usually placed in the centre of the front doorway will be removed to allow easier access for parents with open strollers.
The 60 e-buses will also be equipped with displays to provide route specific information such as upcoming bus stops and destinations, which not all existing buses have at the moment.
However, with these new features, the e-buses will have a smaller capacity, taking up to 28 sitting and 52 standing passengers on a single-deck bus.
Regular single-deck buses are able to carry up to 35 sitting and 56 standing commuters.
New double-decker e-buses will carry up to 120 passengers, compared to 133 passengers on a regular double-decker bus.
LTA has not commented on which routes the 60 e-buses will take, but said they will consider their smaller capacity when deciding where to deploy them, in order to “minimise inconvenience to commuters”.
Bus Technicians To Be Upgraded For Arrival Of E-Buses
Alongside the announcement, 86 bus technicians also just graduated under the Certification for Technical Specialist (CTS) on the same day.
Bus technicians can currently be certified under three levels of expertise – Technical Specialist, Senior Technical Specialist and Master Technical Specialist.
With the deployment of e-buses next year, the CTS assessment will be updated to cover this new system, and the Singapore Bus Academy will work to train bus technicians and drivers to operate and maintain such buses.
Featured Image Credit: LTA