RTA launches trial of two electric buses in Dubai
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RTA launches trial of two electric buses in Dubai

RTA launches trial of two electric buses in Dubai

Each bus has a range of 200km when fully charged

Roads and Transport Authority electric bus

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has launched a trial run of two Volvo 7900 electric buses.

The two buses will shuttle on a specific path in both directions between La Mer South, King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Street and Al Sufouh Tram Station.

The two buses are fitted with Opportunity Charging technology, which is being used for the first time in Dubai.

Buses are charged by a standing electric charger supplied by ABB Group at La Mer South. A night electric charger is provided at Al Quoz Bus Depot to run the night charging when the two buses are out of service.

Therefore, the buses can be electrically charged either through Pantograph using a standing arm under which the bus is parked at La Mer, or cables connecting direct and alternate currents (DC and AC).

The launch of these trial runs is being coordinated with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Volvo Bus Company, Meraas Real Estate, and ABB Group.

“Dubai’s Green Mobility Initiative 2030 aims to stimulate the use of sustainable transit means and align them with the strategic goals of the emirate in terms of sustainability, air quality and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. We hope that this new initiative from RTA would increase the number of environmentally friendly electric buses and encourage community members to use public transport and electric vehicles. This particularly fits with the spread of green charging stations of DEWA, which now exceed 300 stations offering 530 charging points across Dubai,” said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, vice-chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, Managing Director and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA).

Each bus has a range of 200km when fully charged.

The range though is contingent on factors such terrain of the road, temperature, and the operation of the air conditioners.

During the trial period, which will continue until March 2022, RTA will measure the operational efficiency of the two electric buses and charging system. It will train drivers on optimal ways to engage with the technology.

“The project is a unique example of integrated efforts of government departments as well as Public Private Partnership (PPP). It illustrates the integrated efforts of RTA, DEWA, Volvo Bus Co, Meraas Real Estate and ABB Group aimed to promote sustainable transport in Dubai and reduce carbon emissions of the transport sector,” said Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, director-general, chairman of the board of executive directors of the RTA.

“It is recalled that RTA had launched a series of projects and initiatives to leverage sustainable transport including the trial run of electric buses and the operation of hydrogen or water-powered taxis,” he added.

The RTA has managed to convert 50 per cent of the total Dubai Taxi fleet into environmentally-friendly hybrid vehicles in 2020. It intends to convert the remainder of the taxi fleet to hybrid and electric vehicles by 2027. In December 2019, it launched the trial run of the first hydrogen taxi in the Middle East and deployed it as a limo service at the Dubai International Airport.

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