UniBus shows promise for expansion

JOHOR BARU: The electric bus pilot project, UniBus, at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) is proving to be beneficial and may be extended to all public universities in Malaysia.

The Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry selected UTM as the first public university to use the bus that runs solely on electricity for two months.

The university began using the bus at its Skudai campus on Feb 11.

The ministry, through its Malaysian Green Technology Corporation, announced the Green Technology Master Plan Malaysia 2017-2030 in October last year, where low-carbon campuses were part of the agenda.

UTM UniBus task force committee member Ahmad Adli Ghazal said fuel consumption had reduced by 60% and maintenance cost was 70% less than a regular diesel-run bus.

He said the vehicle, which could accommodate up to 60 passengers at one time, was much quieter and as it runs solely on electricity, it did not pollute the air.

“This bus is from a China-based American company that built the first ever right-hand drive bus specially for this project,” Ahmad Adli said, adding that UTM worked closely with strategic partners, such as Comos, on the project.

The bus only takes 20 minutes to charge fully, after which it can run for about 100km.

It is equipped with CCTV cameras and linked to a mobile application that allows students to check its arrival time or if the vehicle is already full of passengers.

Ahmad Adli said the committee would compile a report at the end of the pilot project, which was being watched closely by all public universities in the country.

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