A new electric bus rolls out in the United Arab Emirates. First of all a six-month trial, then the introduction in the bus fleet followed by further units. It’s the roadmap outlined by the Sharjah Roads and Transport Authority (SRTA) with regards to the introduction of the very first electric bus in Sharjah, the capital city of the emirate identified with the same name, part of United Arab Emirates.

One year ago it was showcased the first battery-electric bus in the region, developed by Siemens together with the local bus manufacturer Hafilat and the energy company Masdar.

electric bus emirate united

SRTA and the electric bus in United Arab Emirates

In the new electric bus unveiled by SRTA in late December 2019 there is room for 27 seats. Yousef Saleh Al Suwaiji, chairman of SRTA, pointed out that the first electric bus in the emirate is being operated and subjected to initial tests, following an agreement with Reliance Motors, the authorised agent of the China Shangan Bus.

He added that the e-bus has standard specifications that are in line with the nature and airspace of the country, so that it is able to withstand weather conditions, high temperatures and humidity throughout the year. “The project represents fundamental challenges to the performance and efficiency of electric vehicles everywhere.”

According to the statements from the transport operator, the bus will be able to run for 200 km on one charge. Part of the drivers have been trained to drive the bus.

While being the first battery-electric bus in the United Arab Emirates, it’s not the first alternative drive vehicle operated by SRTA, which also run a fleet of 750 hybrid taxis powered by electricity and gasoline, which help reduce pollutants.

Abu Dhabi, the first e-bus in the Gulf region

But what about the vehicles unveiled one year ago in Abu Dhabi? Masdar (also known as Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company) is responsible of the project, in partnership with the Department of Transport in Abu Dhabi (DoT). The first electric bus in Abu Dhabi serves a route between Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station and Masdar City.

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 Eco-Bus’ traction system, which includes a gearless PEM motor, while Hafilat designed and built the bus.


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