The first all-electric school bus in the UAE region is now in its final testing phase before full deployment by Emirates Transport — with the deployment of the 45 foot battery-powered bus representing one of the first in the world.
The new electric bus was manufactured by the Shanghai Sunwin Bus Corporation, in close cooperation with Emirates Transport.
The general manager of Emirates Transport, Mohammed Abdullah Al Jarman, commented: “The launch of a Zero Emission school bus comes as part of our efforts to achieve the vision of the government for a green economy and puts the UAE in the forefront of such initiatives, regionally and globally.”
The general manager went on to explain that the electric bus will fully comply with local regulations and meet locally required specifications; before then noting that the application of these local specifications had been the primary challenge during its development.
The press release provides more: “The general manager of Emirates Transport stated that, in addition to the usual structural safety tests, the bus underwent operational tests for 3 months, followed by several preliminary operational tests in the UAE, adding that the series of tests will be concluded during 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, as well as daily operating conditions. … Amer Al Harmoudi, executive director of ET’s Auto Services Division, said that 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.
“… Fadil Atallah, manager of ET’s Technical Development Department, said that the current distance travelled by the bus is 100 km, and that is under harsh and optimum operating conditions, including maximum power operation of air conditioning systems and all other electronics, adding that the distance travelled under normal operating conditions is 150 km.”
To support the operation of the new bus, there will reportedly be 2 charging stations installed — one at an Emirates Transport bus terminal and one at a site owned by Shanghai Sunwin Bus Cooperation’s local partner, Al Naboodah Group Enterprises (ANGE). These charging stations will be capable of fully charging the bus in around 4 hours.