Parliament: Government to expand trial of hybrid and electric buses

A BYD K9 ebus fully electric bus in Singapore. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) will be calling tenders to buy 50 hybrid buses and 60 electric buses in 2017, Second Minister for Transport Ng Chee Meng announces on Wednesday, March 8, 2017.
A BYD K9 ebus fully electric bus in Singapore. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) will be calling tenders to buy 50 hybrid buses and 60 electric buses in 2017, Second Minister for Transport Ng Chee Meng announces on Wednesday, March 8, 2017.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/ (BUSES[IN]GAPORE!)

SINGAPORE - Bus commuters can expect to have a greener ride in the future, as the Government adds more hybrid and electric models to the public bus fleet.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) will be calling tenders to buy 50 hybrid buses and 60 electric buses in 2017, Second Minister for Transport Ng Chee Meng announced on Wednesday (March 8).

This will allow the LTA to expand its trial of such "green" vehicles, which while environmentally-friendly, are more costly and may not be suitable for the island's tropical climate.

"A problem with pure-electric technology is that it is not fully proven yet for tropical climates, in part because vehicles operating here consume a lot of energy for air-conditioning," Mr Ng said, during the debate on the Transport Ministry's budget in Parliament.

The LTA is currently testing out a fully-electric bus made by Chinese manufacturer BYD with operator Go-Ahead Singapore. The K9 bus was first used on service 17, followed by service 119.

Mr Ng said: "The initial feedback has been encouraging. While more costly, many commuters enjoyed the quieter ride and the bus has been fairly reliable."

Mr Ng said with the new purchases, the plan is to have three bus services run fully by electric buses, although he did not provide details on the routes.

He said the Government has been shifting towards a greener bus fleet, by buying buses which meet more stringent emission standards.

"But no emissions is better than low emissions," Mr Ng told the House.