Athens tests electric buses made in China


The Athens Public Transport Organization and municipal authorities in other parts of the country plan to add electric buses to their existing fleets, inviting manufacturers to provide vehicles on a trial basis in recent months.

Two Chinese manufacturers were among the companies that expressed interest in the invitation. The first pilot run of Chinese automaker BYD’s electric bus took place in September, without any passengers on board.

The bus is 12 meters long and can carry 76 passengers, 23 of them seated and one in a wheelchair. It is powered by a 348-kilowatt battery and offers wireless connectivity (Wi-Fi) and USB charging stations for mobile devices, according to a press release from Athens’ bus and trolley bus network operator OSY.

Another bus, made by Yutong, a manufacturer of commercial vehicles headquartered in Zhengzhou in central China’s Henan Province, followed on Wednesday, carrying passengers this time.

The Yutong U12 model is 12 meters long and has a capacity of 74 passengers, including 27 seated and one person in a wheelchair. It is powered by a 350-kilowatt battery and also offers USB charging stations for mobile devices, according to the Greek public transport operator.

“In the context of the major tender we will be formally launching next month for the acquisition of 1,300 new buses – including 1,000 for OSY and, among these, about 400 electric buses – companies from across the world have participated in the effort, which is being supervised by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport,” Stefanos Agiasoglou, OSY’s chief executive officer, told Xinhua on Wednesday. [Xinhua]