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Go-Ahead Singapore will from Monday (Jan 16) progressively roll out 50 additional buses fitted with ultra-thin solar panels to further reduce the carbon footprint of its vehicles. By end of April this year, a total of 52 buses will be fitted with these roof-mounted solar panels, the company said in a media release.
The initiative was implemented in Singapore following a successful trial in Southampton, Britain, said Go-Ahead.
Ultra-thin panels were chosen instead of conventional solar panels due to their lightweight and flexible nature. The trial aimed to evaluate the buses’ performance and effectiveness in harnessing and using solar energy to reduce carbon emissions and fuel consumption under Singapore's tropical climate and traffic conditions. The ultra-thin solar panels convert solar energy into electricity to power the bus battery.
"This lessens the load on the bus alternator, which in turn saves fuel and minimises greenhouse gas emissions," said Go-Ahead. Go-Ahead said the findings from the trial have been positive, adding that it was able to achieve fuel savings of 3 to 4 per cent a year. This translates to about 3.7 to 4 tonnes of carbon emissions annually per bus.
When the buses are fully deployed for passenger service, the company said their carbon emissions will be cut by about 200 tonnes annually, which is equivalent to the annual carbon emissions of 43 passenger cars. The company said this initiative is aligned with its efforts to support sustainable transportation and Go-Ahead's ambition to be a net-zero carbon business by 2045.
"Installing roof-mounted solar panels on diesel-powered buses is one alternative in which we can make the buses greener and more efficient until the end of their useful life," said the company's managing director, Mr Andrew Thompson. "Go-Ahead Singapore will continue to work with the Land Transport Authority to develop innovative solutions that not only better the commuting experience but also reduce our ecological footprint."
Source: Channel News Asia