SINGAPORE: As part of Singapore’s push towards a more environmentally friendly transport system, more electric and hybrid buses will ply the roads soon, Second Minister for Transport Ng Chee Meng said on Wednesday (Mar 8).
Speaking in Parliament during his ministry’s Committee of Supply debate, Mr Ng said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will call tenders to purchase 50 hybrid buses and 60 electric buses this year.
Three bus services will be fully served by electric buses, he added.
A diesel-hybrid bus was first trialled by SBS Transit and Volvo in 2015. Bus operator Go-Ahead Singapore, Shenzhen-based automaker BYD and local distributor S Dreams are currently testing a fully electric bus.
Initial feedback from commuters on the electric buses has been encouraging, Mr Ng said. “While more costly, commuters enjoyed the quieter ride and the bus has been fairly reliable,” he said.
However, a problem with pure-electric technology is that it is not fully proven yet for tropical climates, in part because vehicles consume a lot of energy for air-conditioning, Mr Ng said.
“The electric car sharing and electric taxi trials that LTA launched recently will also help us better understand the application of this technology in our climate,” he said.
LTA said the expansion of the trial will help it better understand the operational challenges that come with the wider deployment of such buses under local tropical weather and traffic conditions.
“We will draw from our experiences in these trials to calibrate our approach to adopting alternative energy buses,” it said.