Masdar collaborates with Department of Transport to roll out first all-electric bus service in the Middle East. Image Credit: Masdar

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi has officially launched the first fully electric passenger bus in the region.

Launched on December 14 by Masdar — the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, in partnership with the Department of Transport in Abu Dhabi (DoT) — the vehicle will serve a six-stop route between Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station and Masdar City, Abu Dhabi’s flagship sustainable urban community.

The Eco-Bus will be seamlessly integrated into the DoT’s existing fleet, while the service will be free until the end of March, according to a release issued by Masdar on Tuesday.

Jointly developed by Masdar, Hafilat Industry LLC of Abu Dhabi and Siemens Middle East, it seats 30 passengers and has a range of 150-km per battery charge.

“The launch of the Eco-Bus is a milestone for the UAE in a number of ways,” said Yousuf Baselaib, Executive Director for Sustainable Real Estate at Masdar.

This smart initiative is just one of a series of future initiatives aimed at enhancing the intelligent transportation system in the emirate of Abu Dhabi and making it part of the daily lives of public transport users.

- Ahmad Ateeq Al Mazroui, Head of DoT’s buses and water ferries team

“Masdar City has been an incubator of sustainable mobility technologies, including the iconic Personal Rapid Transport system and the Navya Autonom shuttle vehicle. Now we are exporting solutions beyond the city limits with our partners for the benefit of the wider community,” he added.

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.

Ahmad Ateeq Al Mazroui, adviser to the chairman of the DoT and Head of the Buses and Water Ferries Team, said: “This smart initiative is just one of a series of future initiatives that are aimed at enhancing the intelligent transportation system in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and making it part of the daily lives of public transport users.”

Eyad Al Ansari, the CEO of Hafilat Industry LLC, said: “We have provided specific solutions to adapt this bus to the UAE environment and to meet the Department of Transport’s specifications.”

Uwe Troeger, Senior Executive Vice-President of Digital Factory and Process Industries and Drives at Siemens Middle East, said: “This technology has been proven around the world and we’re pleased to be bringing it to the UAE for local innovation in efficient, sustainable transportation.”

Features of the electric bus Image Credit: Gulf News