Elec­tric buses for Oz fliers

The Witness - Wheels - - TRANSPORT - ALWYN VILJOEN

ANY­ONE who has tried not to breath the tons of diesel fumes spewed out by the pas­sen­ger buses idling all day long at O.R. Tambo Air­port will hope lo­cal con­trac­tors will soon fol­low the ex­am­ple set by the Sydney Air­port, where Aus­tralia’s first elec­tric air­port bus is now trans­port­ing pas­sen­gers to their planes.

China’s BYD sup­plied two of six elec­tric buses to Elec­tric Blu, which is re­plac­ing the air­port’s ex­ist­ing diesel bus fleet ser­vic­ing the shut­tle route be­tween the T2/T3 ter­mi­nal precinct and the Blu Emu Car Park.

The fleet of Blu Emu elec­tric buses will de­liver car­bon emis­sion re­duc­tions of ap­prox­i­mately 160 tons per year and im­prove lo­cal air qual­ity through zero tailpipe emis­sions. The fleet will also lower ex­ter­nal noise lev­els, re­duce waste flu­ids to zero and de­crease the amount of toxic ma­te­rial gen­er­ated dur­ing ser­vic­ing.

Elec­tric Blu is a “Toro” model elec­tric bus, cre­ated by Car­bridge in a joint ven­ture with the world’s lead­ing global elec­tric bus man­u­fac­turer BYD. The Elec­tric Blu bus has a car­ry­ing ca­pac­ity of 70 pas­sen­gers, fea­tures pur­pose-de­signed lug­gage stor­age racks and has a range of 400 km on a sin­gle charge. Sydney Air­port has in­vested in charg­ing sta­tions and other an­cil­lary equip­ment to sup­port the de­ploy­ment of the new elec­tric bus fleet.

The air­port is also cur­rently tri­al­ing elec­tric cars as part of its ground trans­port fleet and in­ves­ti­gat­ing so­lar-pow­ered charg­ing sta­tions to fur­ther de­crease car­bon emis­sions, while re­search and de­vel­op­ment is un­der way for re­cy­cling and re­use of bat­ter­ies and other com­po­nents.

The cost of the project, over R72 mil­lion may, how­ever mean pas­sen­gers queue­ing at the lower ter­mi­nals of O.R. Tambo will have to con­tinue fil­ter­ing the buses’ diesel fumes through their lungs for many more years yet. trucks more pow­er­ful than any other pro­duc­tion diesel truck on the road, with a range of over 1 900 km be­tween fill-ups.

He said 100% emis­sion-free trucks were crit­i­cal to Nikola Mo­tor’s long-term en­gi­neer­ing and en­vi­ron­men­tal ef­forts, not just in ve­hi­cle en­ergy con­sump­tion, but also in how en­ergy is pro­duced.

And adding more won­der to the Nikola 1, Mil­ton said the com­pany will make its hy­dro­gen at so­lar farms that will pro­duce over 100 megawatts each and will use elec­trol­y­sis to cre­ate hy­dro­gen from wa­ter. “Even our man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties will be run off of zero emis­sion hy­dro­gen en­ergy,” said Mil­ton. He said Nikola plans to build over 50 hy­dro­gen sta­tions by 2020. — WR.

PHOTO: BYD

China’s elec­tric bus builder BYD has sup­plied the first of six elec­tric buses to Sydney air­port.

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