These electric buses will soon be solar powered

Though most of the time when you hear about electric buses these days it is because of Chinese manufacturer BYD, others do have contributions to the developing mass transit space as well. One of these is Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which is supplying two units in “a zero emissions transportation system being planned by the city of Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan.”

The buses, which Mitsubishi said are full-size, low-floor models for the city’s regular route network, operate on the company’s lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. They measure 11.065 meters (m) in length, 2.495 m in width and 3.475 m in height, and weigh 11,250 kilograms (kg).

image via Mitusbishi

Making use of a specially developed charger that enables full recharging in approximately half the required time, the buses are able to travel up to 80 kilometers (km) on a full charge, at a top speed of 85 km per hour. The load capacity is said to be 72 passengers.

Some interesting random aspects of this project include plans in October for renewable energy generated by solar power that will be stored in an energy storage system for use in recharging, as well as word that the battery being used on board the buses “already achieved a significant track record through its widespread adoption in cargo container-type energy storage systems, hybrid forklifts and other advanced products.”

* Nino Marchetti, EarthTechling