Singapore continues to expand the electrification of its public bus fleet, with the Land Transport Authority (LTA) announcing a new investment of 164 million SGD for electric buses last Saturday (11/25). This marks the highest single procurement record, including the construction of bus charging stations, bringing the total amount to 212.5 million SGD.
In 2018, the LTA invested 50 million SGD to purchase 60 electric buses as part of a pilot program to test this new technology. With the additional investment, the fleet of electric buses has now reached 420 vehicles, accounting for approximately 7% of the total bus fleet.
The Singaporean government aims to have more than half of its buses converted to battery-powered by 2030. Acting Transport Minister, Chee Hong Tat, emphasized the importance of bus electrification in reducing carbon emissions in land transport, stating that buses contribute to 15% of the country's carbon emissions. He added, "Although achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 is still some time away, we must start now and not wait."
The newly acquired 360 single-deck, 3-door electric buses are equipped with audio-visual display systems providing passenger information of each station. They also feature collision warnings, driver fatigue alerts, and tire pressure monitoring systems. These new electric buses are expected to start passenger service in December 2024, gradually replacing diesel buses that have reached their statutory 17-year lifespan. However, the LTA did not disclose when the complete replacement would be finished.
Among the 360 electric buses, 240 are manufactured by the Chinese electric vehicle giant BYD, with a winning bid amount of 108.1 million SGD. BYD had previously introduced 20 K9 pure electric buses in Singapore and will focus on the new B12 model this time. The remaining 120 electric buses are a collaboration between Cycle & Carriage Automotive and the Chinese company Zhongtong Bus, with a winning bid amount of 58.3 million SGD. The LTA revealed that an additional purchase of 60 new buses could be considered if needed.
The LTA mentioned that 18 companies participated in the bidding process, including international giants like Volvo and Scania. The selection was based on a combination of overall business performance, experience, and technology, not solely on price.
Regarding the charging station infrastructure for the new buses, the Busways and Shell Singapore consortium, and Presico Engineering secured contracts at 31.3 million SGD and 14.8 million SGD. These charging stations will be implemented at the Sengkang West and East Coast depots, as well as the Gali Batu depot, with a gradual rollout expected to commence from December next year.