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Hong Kong's Bus Fleet Embraces Electric Future

Updated: May 23

The world's largest double-decker bus manufacturer, Alexander Dennis, has expressed its belief that electrification is the future for Hong Kong's bus fleet. The British company, responsible for over two-thirds of the city's existing fleet, aims to develop more electric vehicle (EV) models to support Hong Kong's decarbonisation goals.

According to Andy Boulton, the managing director for Alexander Dennis in the Asia-Pacific region, the company sees electric buses as the ideal solution for Hong Kong due to the abundant supply of electricity. Boulton emphasised that electricity is the most efficient way to transport people around the territory, and the company is now focusing its development efforts on electric buses.


In line with this vision, Alexander Dennis recently introduced its first electric double-decker bus, the Enviro500EV, in Hong Kong. The bus, capable of carrying 122 passengers, has been put into service by Kowloon Motor Bus (KMB), the city's largest bus operator. KMB has purchased 10 Enviro500EV buses, with two already operating on the 112 bus line from North Point to Cheung Sha Wan.


The Enviro500EV has a range of 350km after just two hours of charging, meeting over 80% of KMB's daily operating needs. This transition to electric buses is expected to significantly improve Hong Kong's roadside air quality, as each liter of diesel burnt generates approximately 2.65kg of carbon dioxide.


While electric buses offer environmental benefits, they come at a higher cost compared to their diesel counterparts. Boulton acknowledged that an electric bus can cost around 60% more, primarily due to the expense of batteries. Although electricity is currently cheaper than diesel, the deployment of electric buses involves additional costs such as charging infrastructure, maintenance facilities, mechanical training, and battery replacements.


KMB recognises the financial challenges but remains committed to its goal of upgrading its entire fleet to new energy buses by 2040. This aligns with the Hong Kong government's aim of achieving zero emissions from vehicles before the middle of the century.


Looking ahead, Alexander Dennis plans to introduce other battery-powered vehicles to Hong Kong. Boulton revealed that later this year, the company will launch the Enviro100EV, the shortest and smallest single-decker bus in Hong Kong. This compact bus, with seating for up to 28 passengers, is expected to be suitable for rehabilitation buses, hospital transport, and residential transportation.


To reduce costs, Alexander Dennis is manufacturing the electric bus prototype in Zhuhai through a subcontracting partnership with Zhuhai Guangtong Vehicle Manufacture. While this helps lower costs, critical chassis components are still shipped from Europe, making the overall cost higher than a bus solely supplied by China.

 

- Alexander Dennis believes electrification is the future for Hong Kong's bus fleet.

- The company has introduced the Enviro500EV, its first electric double-decker bus, in Hong Kong.

- Kowloon Motor Bus has purchased 10 Enviro500EV buses, with two already in service.


Source: SCMP

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