Europe vies with China in electric bus race

It is a quiet afternoon at Geneva airport and just outside the main entrance, an electric bus billed as one of the most exciting developments in green public transport in years is gliding towards a potential public relations catastrophe.

The world has plenty of electric buses already, but many cannot carry more than 60 people and need to be powered by big packs of onboard batteries that can take hours to recharge, or networks of overhead cables that clutter up streets.

This one – a prototype built by Swiss engineering conglomerate ABB – is an articulated, or bendy bus that can carry 135 people and has just one battery pack on the roof that gets “flash-charged” in as little as 15 seconds as passengers get on or off, by a recharging station the size of an overgrown lamppost.

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Source: Financial Times, 2.08.2013

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