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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Electric buses for KL


Battery-powered buses may be stopping by KL bus stops in two years.
KUALA LUMPUR: Fully electric-powered buses may hit KL’s streets in the next two years.
The buses, according to national transport company Syarikat Prasarana Nasional Bhd officials, would rely on special batteries instead of diesel to ferry people around town.
RapidKL bus division director Zohari Sulaiman said that Prasarana was considering these buses as they were cost-effective in the long run, despite a higher initial cost.
“Battery-operated buses are expensive in terms of investment costs, but they are far better [cost-efficient] than diesel buses [over time],” he told reporters at Prasarana’s office here.
He said that a new electric bus could cost anywhere between RM800,000 and RM1.2 million.
In comparison, he said China-made diesel buses cost between RM400,000 and RM500,000. New European models could cost RM700,000 and above.
Still, Zohari said that maintenance costs for diesel buses were high.
For example, he said that every diesel bus engine would have to go through a top overhaul every 2.5 years, and a total overhaul for every five.
He also lamented having to spend more than RM4 million on diesel to run RapidKL’s 1,519 buses every month.
“The overall maintainence cost over a 10-year period is very much better than a diesel bus,” he said.
Zohari said Prasarana was still considering specific electric bus types, though he expected the company to buy 15 to 20 models two years from now.

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