Masdar rolls out first all-electric bus service in the Middle East
Masdar, the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, has officially launched the first fully electric passenger bus in the region in partnership with the Department of Transport in Abu Dhabi (DoT), Abu Dhabi-based bus manufacturer Hafilat Industry LLC, and leading technology company Siemens.
The vehicle will serve a six-stop route between Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station and Masdar City, Abu Dhabi’s flagship sustainable urban community.
The Eco-Bus will be integrated into the DoT’s existing fleet, while the service will be free until the end of March 2019.
The Eco-Bus has been designed to withstand the heat and humidity of the UAE climate, key performance challenges for electric vehicles. Jointly developed by Masdar, Hafilat Industry LLC of Abu Dhabi and Siemens Middle East, it seats 30 passengers and has a range of 150 kilometres per battery charge. Solar panels are also used to power the Eco-Bus’s auxiliary systems.
Abu Dhabi’s DoT was heavily involved in the pilot phase of the Eco-Bus, which carried out extensive tests of the vehicle’s technical performance as well as the user experience. Siemens provided the vehicle’s propulsion technology, while Hafilat designed and built the Eco-Bus.
Renault to invest €1bn in manufacturing and researching EVs
Yousef Baselaib, Executive Director for Sustainable Real Estate at Masdar said: “The launch of the Eco-Bus is a milestone for the UAE in a number of ways. Masdar City has been an incubator of sustainable mobility technologies, including the iconic Personal Rapid Transport system and the NAVYA AUTONOM shuttle vehicle. Now we are exporting solutions beyond the city limits with our partners for the benefit of the wider community.”
“Helping the UAE deliver on its sustainability targets, including more environmentally friendly mobility solutions, is a key part of our mandate at Masdar and high on the agenda at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2019, which will showcase opportunities for further convergence of knowledge and technologies in the pursuit of cleaner and more energy-efficient transport.”
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.