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April 18, 2014

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Batteries put electric buses in charge

A FLEET of 60 electric buses that have the ability to charge themselves while on the road went into service yesterday.

As well as drawing electricity from overhead cables via two pantographs on their roofs, the vehicles can store power in an onboard battery. Once fully charged, this allows them to run for 15 kilometers without the need for any further input.

“The batteries give the buses a lot more flexibility, as it means they don’t have to be connected to the power cables all the time,” said Yao Yanqi, an employee of Shanghai Bashi Electric Bus Co, which operates the new fleet.

“Sometimes our buses have to adjust their routes to take account of roadworks. Thanks to the battery, they can now take a detour without us having to go to the trouble of rearranging the elevated cable network.”

The first of the new buses went into operation on the No. 8 and No. 28 routes in Yangpu District, and the No. 15 route linking Xuhui and Zhabei districts, he said.

By the end of the year the company hopes to have 300 of the new buses running on 12 routes in Jing’an, Hongkou, Yangpu and Huangpu.

Another advantage of the new independent power source is that drivers no longer have to worry about unscheduled stops, Yao said.

“With a regular electric bus, if the pantographs get disconnected the driver has to get out and reconnect them,” he said.

“But now he can engage and disengage them by simply pressing a button from the comfort of his seat,” Yao said.


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