PUTRAJAYA, Nov 8 ― Putrajaya residents will get a trial run of 10 electric buses sponsored by Japan next September, a minister said today.
Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said these electric buses will be operated by Nadi Putra, which currently operates gas-powered buses in Putrajaya at a rate of RM0.50 per passenger.
“The electric buses will be tried out and if it is competitive, we will change all our existing buses to electric buses,” Tengku Adnan told a press conference here.
The Putrajaya MP said more people in the country’s administrative capital should use bicycles and electric cars to help it achieve “green city” status.
He noted that private firms are already offering electric cars for hire around Dataran Putrajaya, expressing hope that electric cars will be used in the future to connect offices.
Putrajaya Corporation's Vice President in charge of city planning, Datuk Omairi Hashim, who was also present at the press conference, told reporters that Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (Nedo) was fully sponsoring the technology for the electric buses that are worth RM30 million.
He also said the fare per trip for the electric buses will be kept at the current RM0.50 rate for Nadi Putra buses.
According to Omairi, the electric buses can accommodate around 60 standing passengers and can run for 30 kilometres after just 10 minutes of charging.
“Pilot (project) for three years and we will see the performance. If there is a need for improvement, then it will be improved. Scania will produce buses, Japan will produce batteries and charging facilities,” he said, referring to the bus manufacturer Scania.
Omairi said Scania had sent its buses to Japan to be fitted with batteries and that buses from other manufacturers may be used in the future.
If the trial run is successful, Japan would get the business to aid in the electric bus service for Putrajaya, Omairi said.
Malaysia already has an electric bus service in the Klang Valley, the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Sunway line that reportedly costs RM634 million and has 15 electric buses produced by China's BYD Company Limited to cover 5.4 kilometres-long of dedicated lanes along seven stations.