Middle east could become leader in adopting electric vehicle technology

Industry experts underline the future of public transportation at Commercial Vehicles Conference in Dubai

Dubai, UAE, 15 March 2011: The Middle East could become a leader in adopting electric vehicle technology for fleet and public transport use, an industry expert told the Commercial Vehicles Conference in Dubai.

Josh Anderson, Executive Vice President of Engineering for US manufacturers DesignLine Corporation, told delegates that electric buses combine environmental benefits with major savings on maintenance costs for fleet and passenger bus operators.

He said that, over the past four years, DesignLine buses have been in daily operation at Charlotte International Airport in the USA where there has been a reduction in maintenance costs of up to 93 percent.

DesignLine and its UAE dealer, Liberty Automobiles, are setting up a $US30 million, 100,000 sq ft manufacturing facility in Abu Dhabi later this year for the world's first zero emission electric passenger bus, and expect strong Middle East orders.

"The Middle East region is very attractive because there is such an interest in green, sustainable solutions in every aspect of daily life, and it is a focus of so many government and private initiatives," said Anderson.

"We have found that the interest in adopting electric transportation is high, and Middle East clients are leading other countries in their interest to adopt Electric vehicles."


DesignLine say that their electric vehicle technology eliminates the need for oil, filters, belts, and hoses, saving 65% of scheduled service costs.

"When purchasing a traditional diesel bus, there is the lifetime cost of fueling, servicing, maintaining, and repairing to take into consideration," said Anderson.

"Rarely do buyers consider these costs when making the initial purchase. If total life-cycle costs are examined, electric and hybrid buses provide substantial savings to fleet owners."

Anderson was addressing delegates on the opening day of the Commercial Vehicles Conference, which is running alongside the Commercial Vehicles Middle East exhibition at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre until Wednesday.

Delegates were also offered an intriguing insight into plans to establish the Superbus, an electric powered cross-over between a bus and a limousine, as the choice of travel for business commuters between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Antonia Terzi, Chief Vehicle designer of the Superbus project, told the conference that the prototype Superbus will be brought to Dubai for demonstrations of its capability next month.

Travelling at speeds of 250kmh on a dedicated track, the Superbus will slash travelling time between Abu Dhabi and Dubai to 30 minutes, offering convenient and luxury travel for up to 23 passengers.




aeo 2 iaee