LTA SINGAPORE TO EXPAND TRIALS OF HYBRID AND ELECTRIC BUSES
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) of Singapore will be calling tenders to buy 50 hybrid buses and 60 electric buses this year. This will allow the LTA to expand its trials involving such green vehicles; there are plans to have three bus routes run fully by electric buses.
The LTA has been testing a fully electric K9 bus made by Chinese manufacturer BYD, with operator Go-Ahead Singapore. The initial feedback has been encouraging. While more costly, many commuters enjoyed the quieter ride and the bus has been fairly reliable.
A problem with pure-electric technology is that it is not fully proven yet for tropical climates, in part because vehicles operating here consume a lot of energy for air-conditioning.
The BYD K9 was first deployed on service 17 and put on service 119 late last month, to "ply a slightly longer route and test different operating conditions, with daily operation of up to nine hours and overnight charging", the LTA said. Preliminary results suggest fuel cost savings of up to 30 per cent compared with conventional diesel buses.
The LTA also shared that two bus trials with a Volvo hybrid bus were conducted with SBS Transit in 2015 and last year. Volvo reported there were fuel savings of up to 40 per cent on an expressway test and significant reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants, compared with a normal diesel bus, LTA added.