10 fully electric double-decker buses hit the road
Though more costly, they are more environmentally friendly, quieter and user-friendly than conventional buses that run on diesel
Singapore has taken another step in its move to reduce the carbon footprint of public transport with the deployment of the first 10 fully electric double-decker buses yesterday.
The buses will ply the roads on service 983 in Choa Chu Kang, 189 in Bukit Batok and Clementi, and 83 in Punggol and Sengkang, and may be redeployed to other bus routes later.
The vehicles, supplied by the Chinese Yutong-Nari consortium, are said to be more environmentally friendly, quieter and user-friendly than conventional buses that run on diesel.
However, the new buses cost up to twice that of conventional diesel buses.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said it hopes the cost will come down over time with changes in technology and wider adoption.
At a formal unveiling of the buses yesterday, Senior Minister of State for Transport Chee Hong Tat said Singapore remains open to new technology and is "not in a rush" to commit to any one technology or model.
"We are doing it because it is better for the environment and is an initial step to a greener future. We will have more options to choose from when technology progresses," he said.
He added there is no fixed sum the Government has allocated to replace conventional diesel buses.
"What we have done instead is to set ourselves a goal by 2040," he said. The plan is to have all of Singapore's 5,800 public buses run on cleaner energy by then.
The 10 buses join 15 electric single-deck buses already deployed between April and July.
They are among a fleet of 60 fully electric buses bought by LTA in 2018, with all expected to be operational by next year.
The LTA had said then that the electric buses will help it better understand the challenges of running and maintaining electric buses in Singapore's tropical climate and traffic conditions.
An alternative is buses with engines that run on both diesel and electricity, 50 of which have been deployed on the roads since March last year.
Both hybrid and fully electric buses cost more than conventional diesel ones but are less harmful to the environment.
The 60 fully electric buses are expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by close to 8 million kg a year, the equivalent to that generated by 1,700 cars.
The LTA has also touted more direct benefits to commuters, with the electric buses offering smoother and quieter bus rides.
Singapore's electric dreams for its transport system extend well beyond buses, with taxi operators, as well as private car owners all encouraged to switch to electric vehicles.