Hong Kong splashes out on electric bus fleet

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HONG KONG Hong Kong is to spend 180m Hong Kong Dollars (£14.7m) on a fleet of electric buses to improve air quality in the city, its environment secretary announced on Monday (October 17).

The government aims to acquire 36 vehicles which will be used in trials to assess impact on air quality. They will be used frequently on routes in urban areas of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon.

No details on the specifications or models of the buses were released at the time CBW went to press.

Joanne Ooi, CEO of the Clear the Air Network, welcomed the plan, saying the biggest threat to public health came from diesel emissions from PCVs and HGVs. “Any changes in the public transport network which improve public health should be welcomed. It’s great news.”

The electric buses are the latest initiative to reduce public transport emissions, which has included the conversion of taxis and small buses to using liquefied petroleum gas.

Trials in the 1990s using trolley buses, which took electric current from a network of overhead wires, were less successful because of concerns the overhead wire network reduced the versatility of the buses as well as being unsightly.