Published On: May 5, 2014

Brazil has First Battery-Powered Bus in World

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The first battery-powered bus in the world has begun working its route in the São Paulo suburb of Diadema, where the passengers it has transported are getting to know and appreciate this Brazilian project to reduce both noise and greenhouse-gas emissions. In its first ten days of operation, the bus transported 135,000 passengers.

The bus has been carrying passengers since March 5 as part of the conventional urban fleet, which includes buses fueled with diesel, ethanol, biodiesel, hydrogen, and, in some parts of the metropolis, the traditional electric trolleybuses.

The new bus was defined by the São Paulo state government as an “environmentally correct” public transport project, and in its first days of operation it quickly won passengers’ approval.

Paulistas, who live in Latin America’s largest city and are not easily impressed, were surprised by how little noise and vibration the vehicle makes compared with other buses. Teacher Evanir Souza, a daily bus rider, compared the sound of the vehicle with the feeling of being inside an elevator, and she called it an “ecological bus.”

“Emitting zero pollution,” the battery-powered bus is an alternative for dealing with the “new environmental reality,” the president of the São Paulo Urban Transport Company, Joaquim Lopes, said.

“The bus is super-healthy for the planet and can do its job almost like diesel-fueled models, thanks to its recharge technology and use of energy,” Ivan Regina, manager of the Transport Planning, Technological Development, and Environment unit said. Regina hopes that after the six-month trial, the technical and economic results will open the way to planning large-scale production of the vehicle.

The chassis, bodywork, and motor of the bus are manufactured in Brazil, while the batteries and recharge system are supplied by Japan’s Mitsubishi Co.

[This article appeared on the website of the Latin American Herald Tribune and was edited by CIE.]

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