Masdar rolls out first all-electric bus service in Middle East

Eco BusJointly developed by Masdar, Hafilat Industry LLC and Siemens Middle East, Eco-Bus seats 30 passengers and has a range of 150km per battery charge. (Image source: Masdar)Masdar, the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, has officially launched the first fully electric passenger bus – Eco-Bus – in the region in partnership with the department of transport in Abu Dhabi (DoT), Abu Dhabi-based bus manufacturer Hafilat Industry LLC, and Siemens

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 2019. The Eco-Bus has been designed to withstand the heat and humidity of the UAE climate, key performance challenges for electric vehicles.

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

“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.”

“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.

The Eco-Bus is driven by a Siemens traction system, which includes a gearless PEM motor. Highly efficient, quiet and virtually maintenance-free, the traction system has been designed to last the lifetime of the Eco-Bus.

“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,” said Uwe Troeger, senior executive vice-president, digital factory and process industries and drives, Siemens Middle East.

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