Fifty fully electric-powered buses will be quietly cruising along Chengdu's streets later this month.
The Chengdu Shudu Bus Company 成都客车股份有限公司 (蜀都客车) debuted its first fully electric-powered bus to the public on May 7.
The 12-meter-long bus is designed to carry 70 passengers and can travel 260 kilometers before needing to recharge. A city bus generally travels no more than 260 kilometers per day.
The bus will be in operation on May 28, according to a spokesperson.
The vehicle, which looks similar to an ordinary, gas-powered bus from the outside, accelerates to 50 kmph in just over 10 seconds and peaks at 80 kmph.
According to Shudu Bus Co. chief designer Yang Jianbo, the batteries required to power the vehicle comprise one-third of its worth, estimated at RMB1.6 million. The two tons of batteries—11 large and 339 small—cost between 550,000 and 600,000 yuan and require seven hours to fully charge.
The city of Chengdu plans to put a total of 50 electric-powered buses on its roads this year. Charging stations are currently under construction.
The Chengdu Shudu Bus Company also debuted China's first articulated bus late last year. The company is contracted to supply 25 of the vehicles necessary to complete the city's fleet.
The other half will be provided by The Sichuan Gas Group (川汽集团), who has announced that by May 28, it will have four fully electric-powered vehicles in operation. These 11-meter-long, 1.5-ton vehicles can travel up to 270 kilometer per charge.
Although the initial price of the bus is high, over time, cost of running them is lower than the current compressed natural-gas buses standard in Chengdu. Powering them costs 1.7 to 2 mao per kilometer. The vehicles will be charged overnight so that by morning they are fully charged and ready for a day's run.
Plans are underway to phase out gas-powered governmental vehicles and replace them with electric vehicles.
Guidelines for the electric vehicle industry in the city of Chengdu state that by 2012, 250 electric-powered buses, 1300 electric-powered cabs, and 350 electric-powered state vehicles should be in use.
Information and image from:
Chengdu Commercial Daily