The Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, better known as Masdar, has officially launched the first fully electric passenger bus in the region.
In partnership with the Department of Transport in Abu Dhabi (DoT), Abu Dhabi-based bus manufacturer Hafilat Industry and Siemens, the vehicle will serve a six-stop route between Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station and Masdar City.
The Eco-Bus will be integrated into the DoT’s existing fleet, while the service will be free until the end of March, a statement said.
It has been designed to withstand the heat and humidity of the UAE climate, key performance challenges for electric vehicles. Jointly developed by Masdar, Hafilat and Siemens, it seats 30 passengers and has a range of 150 kilometres per battery charge. Solar panels are also used to power the Eco-Bus’s auxiliary systems.
“The launch of the Eco-Bus is a milestone for the UAE in a number of ways,” said Yousef Baselaib, executive director for Sustainable Real Estate at Masdar.
“Helping the UAE deliver on its sustainability targets, including more environmentally friendly mobility solutions, is a key part of our mandate at Masdar and high on the agenda at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2019, which will showcase opportunities for further convergence of knowledge and technologies in the pursuit of cleaner and more energy-efficient transport,” Baselaib said.
Abu Dhabi’s DoT was heavily involved in the pilot phase of the Eco-Bus, which carried out extensive tests of the vehicle’s technical performance as well as the user experience. Siemens provided the vehicle’s propulsion technology, while Hafilat designed and built the Eco-Bus.
The Eco-Bus has a lightweight aluminium body and a unique water-cooling system to optimise battery life and efficiency, even when the outdoor temperature is at its highest. The vehicle also has a highly energy-efficient on-board air-conditioning system.