Region’s first all-electric bus service begins in Abu Dhabi.

The region’s first fully electric passenger bus service has been officially launched in Abu Dhabi.The Eco-Bus is serving a six-stop route between Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station and Masdar City, Abu Dhabi’s flagship sustainable urban community.

The electric vehicle has been engineered to cope with the heat and humidity of the UAE climate. Jointly developed by Masdar, Hafilat Industry LLC of Abu Dhabi and Siemens Middle East, it can seat 30 passengers and has a range of 150km per battery charge. Solar panels are also used to power the Eco-Bus’s auxiliary systems.

According to Masdar, the Eco-Bus will be seamlessly integrated into the DoT’s existing fleet, while the service will be free until the end of March 2019.

“The launch of the Eco-Bus is a milestone for the UAE in a number of ways,” said Yousef Baselaib, executive director for Sustainable Real Estate at Masdar. “Masdar City has been an incubator of sustainable mobility technologies, including the iconic Personal Rapid Transport system and the NAVYA AUTONOM shuttle vehicle. Now we are exporting solutions beyond the city limits with our partners for the benefit of the wider community.”

“Helping the UAE deliver on its sustainability targets, including more environmentally friendly mobility solutions, is a key part of our mandate at Masdar and high on the agenda at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2019, which will showcase opportunities for further convergence of knowledge and technologies in the pursuit of cleaner and more energy-efficient transport,” Baselaib said.

Abu Dhabi’s DoT carried out extensive tests of the vehicle’s technical performance as well as the user experience during the pilot phase.

“The collaboration between the Department of Transport and Masdar has been very fruitful and resulted in the operating of the electric bus,” said Eng. Ahmed Ateeq Al Mazrouei, adviser to the chairman of the DoT and Head of the Buses and Water Ferries Team. “This initiative is a result of the efforts and support dedicated by DoT and its strategic partners to promote the use of sustainable and intelligent transport modes, which enhances the quality of life in the Emirate. This smart initiative is just one of a series of future initiatives that are aimed at enhancing the intelligent transportation system in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and making it part of the daily lives of public transport users.”

Siemens provided the vehicle’s propulsion technology, while Hafilat designed and built the Eco-Bus. The Eco-Bus has a lightweight aluminium body and a unique water-cooling system to optimise battery life and efficiency, even when the outdoor temperature is at its highest. The vehicle also has a highly energy-efficient on-board air-conditioning system.

We have provided specific solutions to adapt this bus to the UAE environment and to meet the Department of Transport’s specifications,” said Iyad Al Ansari, CEO, Hafilat Industry LLC.

The Eco-Bus is driven by a Siemens traction system, which includes a gearless PEM motor. Highly efficient, quiet and virtually maintenance-free, the traction system has been designed to last the lifetime of the Eco-Bus.

“This technology has been proven around the world and we’re pleased to be bringing it to the UAE for local innovation in efficient, sustainable transportation,” said Uwe Troeger, senior EVP, Digital Factory and Process Industries and Drives, Siemens Middle East. “This project is a great combination of the right technology and the right partners, and supports the development of environmentally friendly transport infrastructure in the UAE.”

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