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KMB's new Enviro 500 EV zero-emission double-decker bus. Image from Alexander Dennis

Clean Transport

Hong Kong’s KMB Gets Next-Generation Enviro 500 EV Zero-Emission Double-Decker Buses

The Kowloon Motor Bus Company (1933) Limited turned 90 years old in April, and managed to get a special treat as part of the 90th year anniversary celebrations. Alexander Dennis, a subsidiary of NFI Group Inc., one of the world’s leading independent global bus manufacturers, delivered the first next-generation Enviro 500 EV zero-emission double-decker buses to the Kowloon Motor Bus Company in time for the operator’s celebration of its 90th birthday.

Kowloon Motor Bus Company (1933) Limited (KMB) was founded in April 1933 as the Hong Kong government introduced a system of exclusive services for the city’s bus network that continues to this day, with KMB running on over 400 routes covering Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, and the New Territories as the city’s largest franchised bus operator. The Alexander Dennis next-generation buses come in a vivid green finish that KMB has adopted for these buses under a “Green is Good” slogan.

Paul Davies, Alexander Dennis President & Managing Director, comments: “Happy birthday to KMB, who have been Hong Kong’s Heartbeat of the City for 90 years. We are very proud to be a long-standing business partner of KMB and this is yet another milestone in our relationship as our all-new Enviro500EV joins over 2,500 existing Alexander Dennis double deckers in the KMB fleet, giving the operator an electric double deck product that is superior to competitor products.”

Alexander Dennis says the Enviro500EV is a newly-developed, integral battery-electric double-decker which utilizes the heavy-duty variant of the efficient Voith Electrical Drive System, giving it a peak power output of 410 kW, making it suitable for the high and low-speed duty cycles and topographical challenges of Hong Kong. It combines this with 472 kWh batteries that are assembled by Impact Clean Power Technology to a future-proof Alexander Dennis proprietary design. Clever packaging allows them to be fitted smartly within the bus, avoiding intrusion into the passenger space and thereby delivering a conventional saloon seating layout. In KMB’s specification, the Enviro500EV seats 82 passengers and has room for two wheelchair users.

Alexander Dennis and its predecessors have been supplying buses to Hong Kong since the 1920s and have been at the forefront of bus development in Hong Kong, bringing vehicle air conditioning to the market, as well as low floor access for three- and two-axle double-deckers, before pioneering hybrid and now electric drivelines.

In 2022, KMB introduced a new generation single-deck electric buses. These buses were deployed along busy corridors and are providing passengers with a quiet and environmentally friendly riding experience. 

KMB’s single deck electric buses were introduced in Hong Kong in 2022. Image from KMB

It’s great to hear about developments in the electric single deck and double-decker bus segments. There are a lot of exciting developments in the electric car space that get a lot of attention, but the electric mass transit sector is also growing, with more electric buses being deployed in a lot of places around the world. Electric buses present one of the best opportunities to grow access to more sustainable transport for many communities around the world.

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