Now, a 100% electric bus made in the UAE

ABU DHABI: An all-electric bus that runs up 150km on a full batttery charge produced by an oil-rich country? Why not?

That’s what renewable energy group Masdar aims to roll out with the new EcoBus, the prototype of which unveiled on Monday at the on-going Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, (ADSW).

The prototype actually rolls on the road, and it’s being used as template for future sustainable public transport solutions.

The EcoBus was jointly developed by Masdar and Abu Dhabi-based Hafilat Industry in collaboration with the Masdar Institute, part of Khalifa University of Science and Technology, according to the official news agency WAM.


Technology partner Siemens provided the bus’s engine, giving the vehicle a range of 150 kilometres on a full charge while minimising the size and weight of its battery.

The Eco-Bus will shortly undergo trials at Masdar City in Abu Dhabi as engineers evaluate the performance of its battery and electrical systems in UAE’s arid conditions.

Visitors to the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre during ADSW were able to view the new Eco Bus.

Clean tech

"Urban sustainability will increasingly be defined by innovation in mobility, and Masdar City will be at the centre of this shift towards more sustainable transport solutions," said Yousef Baselaib, Executive Director of Sustainable Real Estate at Masdar.

"The Eco-Bus is an impressive example of homegrown clean-tech innovation and a model collaboration between UAE and international experts. Rolling out the Eco-Bus for use at Masdar City will hopefully inspire other UAE clean-tech innovators while enhancing the performance of electric buses in hot climates."

Khalid Al Hashim, Executive Director for Surface Transport at Abu Dhabi Department of Transport, said, "We applaud the team behind this successful prototype and look forward to seeing the results of its performance tests.

“High temperatures throughout the year have been an obstacle to the wider use of electric vehicles in the Gulf, one the Eco-Bus promises to address. The Eco-Bus integrates with a number of sustainable mobility initiatives under way in Abu Dhabi and the UAE and complements the diversification goals of the UAE Vision 2021."

Electric cars have accelerated past the 2.2 million mark globally, with the US, China and the Europe accounting for more than 90 per cent in 2017.

Sales of battery electric cars have gone up 86 per cent in US last year.

Mobility conference

The UAE’s Eco-Bus reflects the global trend towards sustainable mobility, a key issue at ADSW 2018.

On January 18, the ADSW Mobility Conference will convene global experts to debate insights and action on mobility issues, including new research released by Masdar in collaboration with Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Technologies and solutions are also on show at the Sustainable Transport Zone, an exhibition feature of the World Future Energy Summit.

Iyad Al Ansari, Chief Executive Officer of Hafilat Industry, said, "We’re proud to be at the forefront of the UAE’s nascent sustainable mobility sector, working with both UAE and international partners. The Eco-Bus design is highly scalable, and we look forward to demonstrating the commercial viability of our prototype."

The Eco-Bus has a lightweight aluminium body and uses more temperature-resistant, water-cool batteries located at its rear to enhance space efficiency. The bus has a range of up to 150 kilometres per charge when driven on a stop-start basis, longer if used continuously. The bus features both advanced air-conditioning and electrochromic windows to enhance shading.


Length: 10.5 metres

Width: 2.5 metres

Seats: 27 (with standing room for more)

Engine: Electric traction motor (Siemens)

Range: Up to 150km

A low-entry floor offers easy boarding.

"This highly efficient traction motor technology is in operation around the world including Europe, North America and China, and we’re proud to be working with partners here in the UAE to develop the Eco-Bus for sustainable transport in the Middle East," said Uwe Troeger, Senior Executive Vice President, Digital Factory and Process Industries and Drives, Siemens Middle East.

"We believe strongly that co-creation and partnerships are key to encourage local innovation, and the Eco-Bus is a perfect example of what can be achieved with the right partners, technology and mindset."