On 20 April 2021, a LinkedIn post by WCA Projects shared that one of its logistics partners, MS Global Freight Solution Sdn Bhd, recently moved an electric bus from Port Klang (Malaysia) to Shanghai (China).
Photos on the LinkedIn post feature a 3-door electric single-deck bus bearing the Land Transport Authority (LTA)’s Lush Green livery and SG Bus Decals.
The post describes the logistic challenges of moving the bus. Although buses are typically driven onto roll-on/roll-off (RORO) ships, this bus was not drivable and had to be transported on a roll trailer. The bus’ weight and heavy-duty batteries also resulted in additional time for the vessel operator to confirm cargo acceptance.
Similar to the BYD D9RC electric double-deck bus spotted in April 2021, this bus was also built by Gemilang Coachworks to the latest LTA specifications, which specifies Passenger Information Display System as a requirement for all new buses. This is the second electric single-deck public bus model to feature 3-doors for Singapore, with the first being the Linkker LM312 bus which has yet to enter revenue service as of June 2021.
This bus was also featured in a false-colour image on Gemilang’s website, captioned ‘Aluminium City Bus’ and without SG Bus decals. The blue livery is a likely attempt to avoid disclosing LTA as a customer, given the lush green livery.
While the manufacturer of the bus is not publicly disclosed, it is plausible that the bus might be a CRRC C12 electric bus (also dubbed “San Bus King”), given physical similarities and CRRC’s existing relationship with Gemilang Coachworks. In 2018 and 2019, a CRRC C12 bus was exhibited at various trade shows, in a left-hand-drive, full-low-floor configuration with three passenger doors.
Gemilang had also previously built an electric bus based on a CRRC drivetrain. The CRRC CSR6105GLEV1-1 was an electric single-deck bus that was initially trialled in Kuching (Malaysia), then later participated in Johor’s IMBRT Pilot Testing Programme in 2021. Separately, CRRC and Ikarus produced a prototype three-door single-deck electric bus called the CityPioneer (commercial name IC 1211 U) in 2018, incorporating CRRC electric drivetrain technologies.
Should the right-hand-drive version of this bus be a completely new product, the shipment of the bus to China might be required for homologation, testing, final quality checks prior to delivery, or possibly for public exhibition purposes.
Yet Another Trial Bus?
LTA procured 60 electric buses in 2018. With no new electric bus orders since, it is likely that this 3-Door single-deck electric bus would be offered to LTA as a trial, similar to the BYD D9RC electric double-deck bus.
- MS Global Freight Solution, Malaysia Moved an Electric Bus from Port Klang, Malaysia to Shanghai, China. – WCA Projects, LinkedIn [Accessed 21 Jun 2021]
- Gemilang International | Asia leading aluminium bus body manufacturer (gml.com.my) [Accessed 21 Jun 2021]
- Electrobus Europe and the CityPioneer ebus prototype. Chinese CRRC in Europe with Ikarus – Sustainable Bus (sustainable-bus.com) [Accessed 21 Jun 2021]
- SAN BUS KING|CRRC ELECTRIC VEHICLE CO., LTD. (evcrrc.com) [Accessed 21 Jun 2021]