June 2017

58 APAC / June 2017 , international regulators. Their battery performance has been proven as the world’s leading product and is unchallenged for safety and performance. The Avass Battery Production Facility is currently largest in Asia Pacific Region, at over 500 hectares in size. Green choice Electric buses are growing in popularity around the world, for a range of different reasons, including lower operational costs. Electricity as a fuel is much cheaper than diesel per kilometre. In addition, the maintenance costs of electric buses are a fraction of the cost of those for diesel buses. In addition, zero greenhouse gas emissions when powered from renewable energy. Even if powered from standard grid electricity, greenhouse gas emissions will be lower than a diesel bus, because of the efficiency of the electric drivetrain. Introducing electric bus fleets, powered by renewable energy, is a cost- effective way for states and cities to lower transport-related greenhouse gas emissions. Improved urban air quality is another factor to bear in mind. Whatever the source of the power, electric buses have no diesel exhaust emissions. There are both amenity advantages (no unpleasant diesel exhaust smell), as well as human health advantages, with increasing understanding of the health impacts of vehicle pollution, including the carcinogenic properties of diesel particulates. These benefits are most apparent at bus termini and busy bus stops where many buses stand idling. Allen is keen to underline further benefits of electric buses and why they are popular around the world, which include reduced environmental noise and a better passenger experience. “Electric buses also boast reduced environmental noise. Electric buses provide a significant reduction in noise compared to a diesel, with no exhaust noise at all. In fact, some may be concerned that electric vehicles may be too quiet and might pose a threat to pedestrians and cyclists. Avass buses can be equipped with low-speed audible warnings if requested. “Another factor is that no diesel storage at bus depots is required. When an entire bus depot converts to electric, there is no need for diesel to be stored on site, no need for diesel deliveries and no risk of spills or land contamination. This saves money, frees up space and reduces risk. “A better passenger experience is another plus factor for electric buses. Evidence suggests people like electric buses. Apart from not being smelly, they are quiet and very smooth, meaning passengers are more likely to be able to use laptops, for example, on the way to work. Avass buses can be equipped with wi-fi and USB charging sockets.” Since people like electric buses, they are more likely to leave their cars at home and use them to get to work. Any growth in bus patronage thereby further reduces transport emissions (by replacing a car on the road by an extra person on a bus), reduces traffic congestion and increases public transport fare revenue. Allen adds that training today’s workers in electric vehicle operation and maintenance gives them transferable skills for the future. Electric buses also offer a better utilisation of local energy networks, something that has a very positive impact on the local energy sector, Allen underlines. “Whether powered by renewables or fossil fuels, using electricity as a fuel supports local energy sector jobs and gets a better return on the investment in electricity generation and distribution assets. In addition, oil-based fuel imports are reduced.”

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