The Land Transport Authority (LTA) will buy 50 Volvo diesel-electric hybrid buses for about $30 million.
The authority said yesterday that the move was part of its efforts to build a more environmentally friendly public bus fleet.
"Not only can commuters expect quieter and smoother rides, but bus captains can also enjoy a more comfortable working environment," the LTA said in a statement.
The 50 single-deck buses - which are powered by a 5.1-litre turbodiesel engine as well as a 110-kilowatt electric motor - will be gradually rolled out by the second half of next year. The LTA said the roll-out will also allow it to gauge the performance of such buses in the local environment, as well as help bus technicians and engineers better understand the technical challenges in maintaining such buses.
Volvo East Asia had submitted "a high-quality proposal" to clinch the contract. "The company has a strong track record, with its buses forming about a third of the entire public bus fleet currently in Singapore," the LTA added. The 50 buses will form the largest fleet of hybrid buses in use here.
Volvo Buses director Manish Sahi told The Straits Times that the buses will be designed for the Singapore market, with a seating capacity of up to 83, and will all be wheelchair-accessible.
Mr Sahi said that compared with conventional buses, the hybrid buses cost more initially, but "will cost much less if we take into account the fuel and healthcare savings in the long run".
"As the buses will move off in electric mode, commuters at bus stops will not have to breathe in any smoke," he said. "And the noise pollution... will be lower for people who live near bus depots."