The Land Transport Authority has put up a tender for the Procurement of Diesel Hybrid Buses (DHB) on Tuesday, 30 May 2017 (Contract Ref. PT313.)
As announced by Second Minister for Transport Ng Chee Meng during the Ministry of Transport’s Committee of Supply Debate in March 2017, the tenders will be called for the purchase of 50 hybrid buses and 60 electric buses this year. This will allow the LTA to expand its trial of such “green” vehicles, which while environmentally-friendly, are more costly and less suitable for the island’s tropical climate. Not only do vehicles operating here consume a lot of energy for air-conditioning, their batteries and hybrid systems work less efficiently in our warm and humid environment.
Upon procuring the Diesel Hybrid Buses, the Land Transport Authority will allocate the buses to the Bus Operators (SBS Transit, SMRT Buses, Tower Transit, Go-Ahead Singapore) to operate on selected bus services. Currently, a large majority of LTA’s bus assets are Euro V compliant Diesel buses.
Four Diesel Hybrid Buses have trialled previously by Public Transport Operators SBS Transit and SMRT Buses. Between 2010 and 2012, SBS Transit trialled two Sunlong SLK6121UF14H buses (SBS8000Z and SBS8001X), while SMRT Buses trialled a Zhongtong LCK6121G HEV bus (SMB137A) in 2011. The trials were a failure and all three buses were sold to private operators Republic Express, dnata Singapore and Travel GSH respectively.
In May 2015, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew revealed that the Sunlong diesel-hybrid bus trial was estimated to cost S$1.7 million. The figure, provided by ComfortDelGro Engineering, had partnered with the Land Transport Authority (LTA) for the trials, with LTA’s share amounting to about S$660,000.
The trials had indicated an improvement in fuel efficiency by about 25 per cent, while the results were less conclusive for emissions. Mr Lui added that fuel savings were also insufficient to offset the 140 percent higher cost compared to normal diesel-powered buses. Hence, the unsuccessful trial was a factor in influencing LTA’s decision to not adopt diesel-hybrid buses on a larger scale until 2017.
In 2015 and 2016, across two separate six-month trial periods, SBS Transit trialled a Volvo B5RLE Hybrid bus (SBS8002T) independent of Government funding, to test the performance of Volvo diesel hybrid buses in tropical climates like Singapore. The bus was returned to the manufacturer after the trial.
Go-Ahead Singapore has also recently ended a six-month trial of a fully-electric BYD K9 Bus.
Tender submissions close on 24 July 2017 at 4:00PM. Land Transport Guru looks forward to having more environmentally-friendly buses on the roads for a greener future.
- BYD K9
- Go-Ahead Singapore trials BYD Electric Bus
- Sunlong SLK6121UF14H
- Volvo B5RLE Hybrid
- Zhongtong LCK6121G HEV
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