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Heat causes some buses to conk out

SATURDAY'S hot weather caused problems with the more than 40 super-capacitor buses at the World Expo.

The summer's first hot day, 35 degrees Celsius or above, caused the buses' capacitors to overheat and some of them broke down.

Shanghai Bus Co, operator of the buses, said it is looking at different ways to lower the temperature of the buses' capacitors to guarantee they run smoothly this summer.

The company said its biggest task is to keep the capacitor's temperature below 40 degrees.

The buses run normally when the capacitor temperature remains below 40 degrees.

If the temperature rises above 50 degrees, the buses will be locked automatically and stop operation.

Technicians used dry ice beside the capacitors on several buses on Saturday. It worked, but the cost for one bus was more than 500 yuan (US$73) for the day.

Experts are now looking at more practical ways to lower the temperature and a solution is expected by mid July, officials said.

Shanghai Bus Co also plans to add more charging facilities along Expo Avenue. The buses need to be charged more often since they use more electricity when operating in higher temperatures.

The buses now have to wait about 30 to 45 seconds at each stop while the battery charges.


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