China-made electric buses to hit streets in Greece

  • World
  • Thursday, 11 Apr 2024

ATHENS, April 10 (Xinhua) -- Residents and visitors to the Greek capital and the northern port city of Thessaloniki will soon be able to board electric buses manufactured by China's Yutong, a Greek official told Xinhua on Wednesday in Athens.

The trial run of the electric buses, with 36 in Athens and six in Thessaloniki, started last week, with a full rollout expected in May.

During a ride across the center of Athens, Stefanos Agiasoglou, CEO of Road Transit S.A. (OSY), said his team were happy with the results so far.

"To date, these buses have proven to be far superior to the conditions and specifications we had set," he said, referring to the international tender won by the Chinese company. "It is a modern bus that will really change transportation in Athens."

A total of 250 buses are expected hit the streets of Athens and Thessaloniki in the coming weeks after the final results.

During the trial stage, the buses must operate without passengers for 18 hours a day until they complete 5,000 km under normal traffic conditions. The trial runs in the first week showed that the buses can cover 220-250 km on a single battery charge, surpassing the 180 km minimum requirements set out in the tender, Agiasoglou said.

The new buses are not only "green" and environmentally friendly, but also offer an comfortable and high-tech passenger experience, the official said. USB-C charging ports are available throughout and the buses are accessible for disabled passengers.

The addition of the Yutong vehicles to OSY's fleet represents a first major step towards the renewal and upgrade of urban public road transport in Greece, according to Agiasoglou.

Approximately 1,400 buses are operating in the Greek capital, whose average age is 19 years, while 39 percent of them are not accessible to disabled passengers, according to data released by the Infrastructure and Transport Ministry.

Greek officials aim to replace 1,300 of the fleet by 2027 under the government's plan for sustainable urban mobility.

By 2026, following the complete rollout of Yutong's electric buses, some 300 compressed natural gas buses are also expected to join the fleet, Greek officials note.

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