The ever-expanding MyCiti buses are making another innovative introduction with the rolling out of the Mother City’s first-ever electric vehicles.
Come June 2017, Cape Town will see a new fleet of eco-friendly buses navigating our roads, as the innovative and slick MyCiTi bus service looks set to roll out 10 12-metre-long electric buses. Aside from an obvious reduction in carbon emissions, this new green fleet promises to offer an alternative fuel option for the MyCiti bus services, which are set to grow significantly over the next decade.
In September 2016, the City of Cape Town awarded the tender for the procurement of these 10 low-floor, eco-friendly buses to BYD, a Chinese company that is 8% owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, and has already supplied 51 single-decker buses to London.
However, the buses will not be an entirely foreign import – the vehicles will be assembled locally in Blackheath, thereby offering job opportunities and skills advances to local workers and suppliers alike.
250 kilometres before recharge is required
Although the contract value is set at a steep R126 million mark, these buses will be the first of their kind (read: electric) to ever be manufactured and assembled in the Mother City, and should be able to travel at least 250 kilometres in traffic before their batteries require a recharge, ensuring exciting (or dare we say it, electrifying) advances across all fronts.
What’s more, Cape Town mayor, Patricia de Lille explained that the operational cost of the electric buses is reported to be “significantly lower – not only in terms of fuel, but also in relation to maintenance, as there are fewer engine parts to service.”
This forward-thinking, eco-friendly project will not only help us reduce carbon-dioxide emissions significantly, the buses will also mean lower noise pollution and heat, help our city to earn carbon credits, and even ensure a smoother ride for both passengers and drivers.
So, fingers crossed, all will go according to plan, and the City will deliver the buses in June.
By Tamlyn Ryan