Minister: 30 Electric Buses To Be Shipped Soon

December 10, 2021 | 7 Comments

The 30 electric buses were purchased from Golden Dragon Bus Company in China and each bus cost $114,200, Minister of Transport Lawrence Scott said, adding that they are scheduled to go into service in April 2022.

Speaking in the House of Assembly today [Dec 10] the Minister said, “The Company recently completed the pre-delivery inspections and is currently preparing the buses to be shipped from Shanghai to Bermuda.

Electric Buses Bermuda Dec 2021 (1)

“We anticipate that the buses will be arriving on three shipments over the next few months. But more so because they are scheduled to go into service in April 2022.

“An engineer from Golden Dragon Bus Company, will be based in Bermuda for three months after the buses arrive to support with commissioning and training of the Department of Public Transportation’s staff. Additionally, the Department’s technicians will participate in electric vehicle training online via the Institute for Motoring Industry, UK and locally via the Bermuda College.

Electric Buses Bermuda Dec 2021 (2)

“The Department is also recruiting additional bus operators to ensure that we have the resources required to provide a reliable and consistent public bus service. The job advertisement will run from 17 December through 31 December 2021.

“As part of the Government’s economic recovery plan, we are in the process of constructing interim charging stations at Dockyard, St. George and Fort Langton bus depots to support the initial 30 buses until the permanent charging infrastructure is ready.”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker, in March of this year, during the Budget debate, I announced that as part of the Government’s commitment to protecting the island’s environment, the Ministry of Transport is starting by purchasing 30 electric buses.

The buses were purchased from Golden Dragon Bus Company Ltd in China in August. Each bus cost USD114,200. By comparison, the last diesel bus purchased from Portugal in 2018 cost USD250,000. The Company recently completed the pre-delivery inspections and is currently preparing the buses to be shipped from Shanghai to Bermuda.

Mr. Speaker, I am very excited to announce that the project has progressed despite global supply chain issues. We anticipate that the buses will be arriving on three shipments over the next few months. But more so because they are scheduled to go into service in April 2022.

Mr. Speaker, an engineer from Golden Dragon Bus Company, will be based in Bermuda for three months after the buses arrive to support with commissioning and training of the Department of Public Transportation’s staff. Additionally, the Department’s technicians will participate in electric vehicle training online via the Institute for Motoring Industry, UK and locally via the Bermuda College.

The Department is also recruiting additional bus operators to ensure that we have the resources required to provide a reliable and consistent public bus service. The job advertisement will run from 17 December through 31 December 2021.

Mr. Speaker, as part of the Government’s economic recovery plan, we are in the process of constructing interim charging stations at Dockyard, St. George and Fort Langton bus depots to support the initial 30 buses until the permanent charging infrastructure is ready. These charging stations will be fed from existing BELCO circuits and completed in March 2022.

The initial RFP for the new electric buses envisioned transitioning the entire bus fleet to electric over ten years. The permanent charging infrastructure will accommodate the whole fleet. There will be a total of 30 charging stations servicing 60 bus bays, a 450 kilovolt-amps rooftop solar PV array and a battery energy storage system at the Fort Langton bus depot. The RFP for this new infrastructure is concluding, and the contract award is anticipated early in the new year. The build will take one year to complete.

Mr. Speaker, although the RFP included buses with wheelchair access, the new buses are not wheelchair accessible. We have revisited feedback from the 2019 Transport Green Paper, consulted with relevant stakeholders, and believe that a dedicated Programme would better serve persons with motorized wheelchairs. The Ministry is currently working on a Paratransit Programme, and I will be sharing more on this initiative in February.

Mr. Speaker, I take this opportunity to remind commuters who use public buses and ferries to follow the Ministry of Health COVID-19 guidelines for travelling on public transportation. Not only for their safety but also for the safety of the hard-working staff of the Departments of Public Transportation and the Department of Marine and Ports Services.

Thank You, Mr. Speaker!

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Comments (7)

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  1. spanner breath says:

    This is such a great idea, but its to bad we have careless and wreckless drivers!
    Busses will be wrecked in no time.

  2. Joe Bloggs says:

    30 x $114,200 = $3,426,000. And then there will be shipping costs from Shanghai to Bermuda. I am sure that others know better than I, but I would expect those shipping costs to bee at lease $1,500,000, bringing the total to some $5,000,000.

    Was that money in the budget 2020/2021?

    • Ringmaster says:

      Don’t forget the finders fees; commissions; introductions fees; agents fees and miscellaneous outgoings. All these need to be added to the total.

  3. puzzled says:

    And when they need service and new batteries…

    Lots of grease from palm trees….

    The new Bejing Express…..

    • Frank says:

      You have obviously not done your research on electric vehicles. Due to them having considerably less moving parts when compared to combustion engines the maintenance of them is drastically smaller.
      Typical batteries should last for a minimum of twenty-five years if operated within the correct perimeters. Never allowing the battering to fall bellow a 20% charge and never charging them at 100% for an extended period of time.
      Bermuda has the benefit of being a small country meaning our bus runs will be small and we are blessed in a way were the many hills the buses would have to navigate can be utilise to charge the battery through regenerative braking.

      • Sandgrownan says:

        What is the chance of them being operated within “the correct parameters.”?

        I’ll tell you – zero.

        Are the BIU ready for the reduction in mechanics?

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