Masdar unveiled the all-electric Eco-Bus at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2018. Image Credit: Masdar

Abu Dhabi: Masdar unveiled a new locally manufactured electric bus during the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) in the capital on Monday. The zero-emission eco-bus can travel 150 kilomtres on a single charge.

The eco-bus will shortly undergo trials at Masdar City in Abu Dhabi as engineers evaluate the performance of its battery and electrical systems in the UAE’s arid conditions. Visitors to the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre during the ADSW will also be able to catch a glimpse of the new eco-bus.

A template for future sustainable public transport solutions, the working prototype was jointly developed by Masdar and Abu Dhabi-based Hafilat Industry in collaboration with the Masdar Institute, part of Khalifa University of Science and Technology.

However, the technology partner Siemens provided the bus’s engine, giving the vehicle a range of 150 kilometres per charge while optimising the size and weight of its battery.

Yousuf Baselaib, executive director of sustainable real estate at Masdar, said, “Urban sustainability will increasingly be defined by innovation in mobility, and Masdar City will be at the centre of this shift towards more sustainable transport solutions.

“The eco-bus is an impressive example of homegrown clean-tech innovation and a model collaboration between UAE and international experts. Rolling out the eco-bus for use at Masdar City will hopefully inspire other UAE clean-tech innovators while enhancing the performance of electric buses in hot climates,” he said.

The eco-bus has a lightweight aluminium body and uses more temperature-resistant, water-cooled batteries located at its rear to enhance space efficiency. The bus has a range of up to 150 kilometres per charge when driven on a stop-start basis, and longer if driven continuously.

Khalid Al Hashim, Executive Director for Surface Transport at Abu Dhabi Department of Transport, said: “We applaud the team behind this successful prototype and look forward to seeing the results of its performance tests. High temperatures throughout the year have been an obstacle to the wider use of electric vehicles in the Gulf, one the eco-bus promises to address. The eco-bus integrates with a number of sustainable mobility initiatives under way in Abu Dhabi and the UAE and complements the diversification goals of the UAE Vision 2021.”

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena), headquartered in Masdar City, transport accounts for 30 per cent of total global energy consumption.

Iyad Al Ansari, Chief Executive Officer of Hafilat Industry, said, “We’re proud to be at the forefront of the UAE’s nascent sustainable mobility sector, working with both UAE and international partners. The eco-bus design is highly scalable, and we look forward to demonstrating the commercial viability of our prototype.”

Passenger capacity

The eco-bus seats 27 passengers with safe standing room for additional passengers. A low-entry floor makes for easy boarding. At 10.5 metres in length, the eco-bus is slighter shorter than a classic double-decker bus, with roughly the same width at 2.5 metres, and more than a metre lower height-wise at 3.2 metres.