A new electric bus will start cruising the streets of Abu Dhabi soon. Information boards with timings are now placed at bus stops, indicating at the imminent launch of the e-bus, which is currently on a trial run.

The bus currently covers the Al Wahda Mall, World Trade Centre, Corniche Street, Founders’ Memorial and Marina Mall, beginning its rounds from the Abu Dhabi Bus Terminal. The route is part of its trial run.

Abdulla Ahmed Balalaa, Masdar Director of Real Estate Development and Asset Management said the e-Bus is yet another sustainability initiative in the transport sector. “We are considered pioneers of sustainability developers in the region and one of the most sustainable developers in the world. Masdar is a lab where all new and fascinating ideas are born and take shape. We have more than 20 research and development projects. This is the R&D hub of the Abu Dhabi Government and the UAE.”

Balalaa also commented on the trial of the e-Bus, saying, “We are doing technical testing. I can’t give a time (for the launch) as this initiative is in collaboration with the DoT, but I can assure that the results from the testing were fascinating. That’s the good news till now. We now need to formalise things with the DoT to run the vehicle on the roads for public use.”

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The e-Bus is nearing the end of its trial runs and will soon be launched in Abu Dhabi, followed by launches in the rest of the UAE.

Yousuf Baselaib, executive director of Sustainable Real Estate at Masdar said that the electric bus launched during the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in January is “100 percent made in Abu Dhabi.” He also said the feedback from the testing has been “very encouraging.”

“We got good data. Now, we are focusing more on the cost. Soon, more buses will be in the market based on the data we are collecting. The bus is running on the streets. The only thing is that we are focusing on the cost and distance,” Baselaib continued. According to him, the e-Bus is the way forward for electric vehicles. In a bid to stay competitive, Masdar is conducting a “lot of tests” to improve the charge retention duration of batteries.

“In the UAE, we have a very harsh weather. So we are doing a lot of research on batteries. Technology is evolving. We are doing some testing with international organisations here in Masdar. This will be a breakthrough in renewable energy. We have more than seven electric charging stations in Abu Dhabi. By next month, we are going to partner with a car manufacturing company,” concluded Baselaib.

The electric bus made in Abu Dhabi is the Emirate’s step towards sustainable mobility. It produces zero emissions and is designed to operate in high-temperature climates. The temperature-resistant, water-cooled batteries onboard help it clock 150km per charge. The batteries are located at the rear and the body is of aluminium to enhance efficiency and practicality.