The government of Qatar has taken delivery of the first batch of the electric buses it placed an order for last year. At the event to mark the occasion, the government received ten electric Yutong public buses.
More deliveries are expected as the original order was for 741 electric buses, the largest Yutong has ever received. Yutong worked with Mosalawat (the country’s public transport authority) and various department to ensure pandemic restrictions did not prevent the first delivery.
The electric buses are made to local specifications, including the weather and cultural considerations. For example, the battery has been optimized for the hotter climate of the country, with a highly efficient cooling system.
On a single charge, the buses will go more than 200 km. Charging facilities have been contracted to Swedish company ABB, who will handle the design, supply, test and commissioning. The contract covers four bus depots, eight bus stations and 12 metro stations. ABB will coordinate with Ashghal, the public works authority of Qatar.
The charging equipment ABB will supply will include over 1300 points for destination charging and 89 opportunity chargers. ABB will provide technical support for three years, as part of the agreement.
Part of their first duties is to help with the expected crowds of spectators at the soccer world cup event that will be hosted in the country next year. They will then be integrated into the mass transit network of the country, made up mostly of buses.
The government of Qatar is working to make its public transport free of pollution. It has the goal of making at least 25 percent of its public buses powered by electricity by 2022, and 100 percent by 2030.
To speed up the process, Yutong is going to establish an assembly plant in the country. It will further help to factor in local requirements in the design of the buses. Production is targeted at 1,500 units within seven years, starting from 2022. Some of the electric buses will be exported to countries all over the world.
There is also arrangement for a 700 MW solar energy project to be undertaken by Avangrid, an American gas and renewable energy company. It is scheduled to be completed by 2022. Sunshine is plentiful in the country, making it the ideal location for such a project. Qatar is an investor in Avangrid through its Qatar Investment Authority.