LTA to roll out 50 diesel hybrid buses by second half of 2018

Channel NewsAsia 11 Oct 17;

SINGAPORE: A total of 50 diesel hybrid buses will be put in service gradually by the second half of 2018, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

It announced on Wednesday (Oct 11) that it will buy these buses from Volvo East Asia for S$30 million, as part of efforts to build a more environmentally-friendly bus fleet.

Commuters can also expect quieter and smoother rides with the low-emissions buses, LTA added.

A diesel hybrid bus – which runs on a diesel engine as well as a rechargeable battery - was first tested by transport operator SBS Transit and Volvo in 2015.

"These low-emission buses will help us better understand the operational challenges that come with the wider deployment of such buses under our tropical climate and traffic conditions, which will enable us to calibrate our approach in adopting diesel hybrid buses in the future," the authority said.

The fleet of 50 buses will also help engineers and technicians better understand the challenges in maintaining such buses.

LTA said that Volvo East Asia had submitted a high quality proposal with the best value for money. The company currently provides about a third of Singapore's bus fleet.

"To prepare our bus workforce for this change, LTA will work with industry partners to help upgrade and upskill our bus professionals through the Singapore Bus Academy," it added.

As for electric buses, LTA said that it will soon call a tender for 60 such buses, which will serve commuters by 2019.
Source: CNA/kc

50 diesel hybrid buses to be on the road by second half of 2018
ASYRAF KAMIL Today Online 11 Oct 17;

SINGAPORE — Fifty diesel hybrid public buses, which are more environmentally-friendly, will hit the roads here from the second half of next year, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said on Wednesday (Oct 11).

And by 2019, 60 electric buses will also starting plying routes. A tender for these will be called soon, the LTA said.

The hybrid buses, costing S$30 million, will be supplied by Volvo East Asia Pte Ltd, whose buses already form one-third of the entire public bus fleet here. Details of the routes these new hybrid buses will ply will be announced later.

Various trials with “green” buses in recent years, culminating in the Government’s commitment in March this year to buy 60 electric buses and 50 diesel hybrid buses.

Results from earlier tests showed fuel savings of up to 40 per cent on an expressway, and “significant” cuts in the emission of carbon dioxide and other pollutants, such as particulate matter, compared with conventional diesel buses.

“Not only can commuters expect quieter and smoother rides, bus captains can also enjoy a more comfortable working environment,” the LTA said in a news release.

The authority aims to use this rollout of 50 hybrid buses to find out any operational challenges with running low-emission models in Singapore’s tropical climate and traffic conditions. Bus technicians and engineers can also get familiar with the technical challenges of maintaining such buses, it added.

In March this year, Second Transport Minister Ng Chee Meng said the Republic has already been shifting towards a more environmentally-friendly fleet, with models that meet tighter emission standards. “But really, no emission is better than low emissions,” he had added.

A trial of an electric K9 bus has been carried out on Service 17 and Service 119, with “encouraging” initial feedback. It runs up to nine hours daily and is charged overnight. Preliminary results showed up to 30 per cent savings in fuel costs compared with a conventional diesel bus.

Three-quarters of some 300 commuters surveyed by Go-Ahead who had taken the bus indicated that they found the journey better than one on a diesel bus. They cited quiet operations and good air-conditioning as among the top plus points. Bus captains, too, noted that the bus accelerated and decelerated smoothly and noise had been reduced.

The LTA said it put up a Request for Information for electric buses last week to gather more up-to-date information on the latest electric bus and charging technologies.