The first all-electric, zero emissions bus in the whole of the Caribbean was recently unveiled at at a ceremony in Aruba by the country’s Minister of Transportation, Otmar Oduber, and ARUBUS Director Teo Croes.
The 40-foot-long bus, manufactured by BYD Company Limited, represents the first step in the realization of a memorandum of understanding between BYD and Aruba, signed earlier this year in June — the island-nation is currently aiming to achieve energy independence and to become 100% carbon neutral by the year 2020, a goal which obviously requires the wide-scale adoption of electric vehicles like this new bus.
“In our transition phase towards 100% sustainability, BYD will support Aruba by demonstrating how to convert all our vehicles, including cars, buses, taxis and all private and public vehicles into electrified transportation,” stated Prime Minister Mike Eman.
The press release provides more info:
The Aruba government is initially leasing the electric bus until March 2014 to evaluate the service characteristics before an additional 3-4 vehicles are ordered for the next phase of implementation. The Island currently boasts 15% renewable generation sources, and these electric buses will immediately take advantage of this renewable power and each addition of renewable clean energy generation as they are implemented by the national government (plans include solar and bio-mass/waste generation).
Aruba has experienced periods of time, at night, when their wind resources approach 35% of electric supply—transportation that only charges at night, takes better advantage of the island’s wind energy portfolio allowing the Utilities to optimize and level-load their demand profiles.
Transportation Minister Otmar Oduber stated: “This bus will cost Arubus 60% less than fuel driven buses in service at the moment, saving Arubus over 1.2 million florins (~$600,000 USD per bus over a lifetime of greater than 12 years). This bus will be in service for about 5 months and the bus will be rigorously tested and researched by an independent research organization to establish the efficiency of the bus. The vision of the ministry together with Arubus and WEB is to have 4 more buses on Aruba by 2014, followed by 16 more buses to have a total of 20 buses in service before 2020. Four years ago the ministry of Mike Eman had a vision in which Aruba could and would be fossil fuel independent to generate electricity and to have a fully electrified public transportation including the independent taxis. With this bus we are showing our commitment and realizing our vision.”
Credit: James Ayre, Cleantechnica