Emirates Transport (ET) has launched the final phase of testing for the first electric battery-powered school bus in the region.
The 45-seater bus, manufactured in cooperation with the Shanghai Sunwin Bus Cooperation, is dubbed as “one of the first projects of its kind worldwide”.
Speaking at the launch ceremony, Mohammed Abdullah Al Jarman, general manager of Emirates Transport, said: “The launch of a zero emission school bus comes as part of our efforts to achieve the government’s vision for a green economy and puts the UAE in the forefront of such initiatives, regionally and globally.”
The bus will operate in accordance with the specifications and regulations of school transport in force in the country. In addition to the usual structural safety tests, the bus underwent operational tests for three months, followed by several preliminary operational tests in the UAE. The series of tests will be concluded in the coming period under climatic and operational conditions similar to the usual conditions during the school year.
During the pilot phase, the bus will operate on full routes in conditions that accurately simulate the normal school bus’s daily journeys and daily operating conditions.
Amer Al Harmoudi, executive director of ET’s auto services division, said one of the most important technical factors during the manufacturing phase was adjusting the efficiency of the air conditioning system to suit the specific climatic conditions in the country and the nature of operation in school transport. In terms of supporting infrastructure, there will be two fully integrated bus power stations, one at Al Naboodah Group Enterprises (ANGE), and the other at the Emirates Transport bus terminal. The current system is capable of fully charging the bus batteries in just four hours.
Fadil Atallah, manager of ET’s technical development department, said the current distance travelled by the bus is 100km, and that is under harsh and optimum operating conditions; the distance travelled under normal operating conditions is 150km.