As part of its efforts to promote sustainable transport, the Abu Dhabi Department of Transport has commenced trial operations of its first fully electric bus, which will run on various routes in the metropolis and its suburbs over a six-month trial period. The bus is a first in the region.
The Ankai-branded vehicle is a standard city bus that is fully electric, not hybrid, using a plug-in charging technology, which is the most cost-effective.
The battery can reach 80 per cent of capacity within three hours and 99 per cent in four hours. Each full charge has an estimated range of 200km. Saeed Mohammed Fadel Al Hameli, Acting Director, Organisational Development Division at the department (DoT), said, “The trial operation of the electric bus is in line with the DoT’s sustainable transport strategy and aims to ascertain the total cost of ownership, gain a firsthand insight of benefits offered to service users, whilst studying and assessing the best and most efficient buses and technologies that fit with Abu Dhabi’s operating conditions and atmosphere.
The bus will be subject to internal performance assessment via different routes and trip scenarios, such as city-based urban frequent start-stop profiles, and suburb profiles, before selecting the most feasible specifications.
“This electric bus functions and operates like any normal bus except that it is noiseless and accelerates faster. To prepare well, four selected drivers will be trained by the manufacturer and the distributor, thereby giving us hands-on experience of its features and how the air-conditioning and other supporting systems will drain its battery.”
The DoT recently concluded a feasibility five-phase study on alternative fuels. It aims to develop strategies and methods promoting a clean transportation culture, look into allocations of resources for sustainable development of transportation needs and identify strategies related to alternative fuel use.