Hong Kong’s first double-decker electric bus cleared customs into Hong Kong yesterday, after months reportedly stuck in Shenzhen awaiting “pre-type approval”.
The bus, made uniquely for Hong Kong, is a joint venture between mainland firm Wisdom (Fujian) and Bravo Bus, which operates CityBus and New World First Bus in Hong Kong.
According to Wisdom, the 80-seat double-decker bus has a 125kW motor and 450kWh lithium-iron phosphate batteries which can fully charge in 4.5 hours with a 100kW charger or three hours with a 150kW charger.
With what one analyst called an “old school” battery approach, the bus is relatively heavy, with its rated “gross weight” the same as a fully-laden traditional 150-passenger Hong Kong double-decker but with 19 less seats. It is not clear how many standing passengers the new bus can accomodate.
Another source says he hoped the bus firm would also consider “top-up” battery concepts to reduce vehicle weight and increase range.
Bravo CEO Adam Leishman says electrification is “one of the many options in our search for the right future solution to deliver zero emission public transport solutions.”
Bravo has also put forward ideas on hydrogen buses, with executives sharing their experiences from successful London trials with Hong Kong officials earlier this year. Last week, the government said it hoped to run hydrogen bus trials within three years.
The double-decker is now undergoing tests on safety and road-worthiness by Transport Department, who did not comment on the timeframe.