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Tel Aviv Recharges with Israel's First Electric Bus

After recharging overnight, passengers boarded Dan’s Number 5 bus—the country’s first battery-operated bus, last Tuesday

By: Ashley Peters
Published: August 12th, 2013 in Business » Israel
Israel's First Electric Bus

After recharging overnight, passengers boarded Dan’s Number 5 bus—Israel's first battery-operated bus, last Tuesday.

This low-floor, bold orange, and mileage-generous (with a driving range of about 250 miles) vehicle was produced by Chinese firm BYD and transplanted to Tel Aviv through Cal Motors.

And given the fact that the bus only requires about five hours of recharging to achieve full power, it shows no signs of stopping. In fact, in a joint statement at a Tel Aviv launch ceremony for the bus on Monday, Dan chairman Michael Nagar and CEO Shmuel Rafaeli said they hope the singular bus reaches passengers all across the nation.

"The experience of a quiet and comfortable ride on an electric bus revolutionizes the customer experience, and we intend to enable this experience for all Dan passengers across Israel," said Nagar and Rafaeli.

In the next five years, Dan hopes to replace 25 percent of its aged buses with electric ones, an investment that will amount to roughly NIS 400 million.

The long term operating costs, however, aren’t as steep. The maintenance of the buses costs 25 percent less than the upkeep of the diesel-fueled buses carrying passengers throughout much of Israel’s city arteries today, the company said.

The bus’ lithium iron phosphate battery lives for up to 6,000 cycles, costs about $400,000 (for the battery and its charger), and plugs into the national electricity grid (if needed), according to statements from Dan and Cal Motors.

Despite the mounting benefits and drawbacks of the bus, CEO of Cal Motors, Doron Vadai, stressed the significance of operating environmentally friendly transportation nation-wide.

"[Electric buses are] part of the general green city vision of BYD, which includes electric cars and buses, electricity production from the sun and the use of energy saving LED lights," said Vadai.

Related articles: Electric Bus, Tel Aviv, Cal Motors, Electric Vehicle, Environmental News, Business News, Startup
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