MTR launches first electric bus, plans to expand fleet by 30 units by the end of 2026


8th June 2024 – (Hong Kong) MTR announced the official launch of its first electric bus today. The bus will operate on the L54 route, serving passengers travelling between Wo Tin Estate, MTR Siu Hung Station, and Tuen Mun Town Centre. The inaugural journey commenced at precisely 12pm, drawing a crowd of enthusiastic bus enthusiasts who showed their support by displaying homemade banners. Hong Kong MTR revealed its intention to further expand the electric bus fleet, aiming to introduce at least 30 more electric buses by the end of 2026 as part of a gradual replacement of conventional diesel buses.

Manufactured by Alexander Dennis in the United Kingdom, the MTR electric bus features a predominantly white and green exterior and can accommodate up to 115 passengers. Mr. Chan Chi-hung, the Operating Manager of MTR (Tuen Ma Line, Light Rail, and Bus), shared that the new electric bus, identified by the fleet number Z01 (with Z representing “Zero Emission”), will initially operate on the K54 route, serving the areas of Wo Tin Village, MTR Siu Hong Station, and Tuen Mun Town Centre. Mr. Chan highlighted that the electric bus reduces carbon emissions by over 60% compared to traditional diesel buses, providing a quieter and more environmentally friendly mode of transportation. Moreover, the design of the electric bus includes widened aisles and increased legroom between seats, particularly on the upper deck, offering passengers a heightened sense of spaciousness.

Furthermore, the new electric bus is equipped with an energy regeneration braking system that recovers energy during braking to power onboard devices, thereby enhancing battery efficiency. The bus incorporates LED lighting and features solar panels on the roof to support ventilation systems. Additionally, the electric motor drive eliminates the need for continuous running of diesel engines during idle periods, making it ideal for frequent stops and passenger boarding characteristic of Hong Kong MTR bus routes. The charging time for the electric bus is approximately 3 hours, providing a travel range of at least 220 kilometres, sufficient for daily operations of MTR buses. The bus also includes a tree guard on the front to ensure safe travel.

Mr. Chan Chi-hung emphasised that the shuttle bus service provided by Hong Kong MTR primarily serves residents in the northwest region of the New Territories, accommodating over 160,000 passengers daily. To further reduce bus emissions, MTR previously acquired its first electric double-decker bus with funding from the Environmental Protection Department. Charging facilities have been installed at the Tuen Mun Depot. The company plans to transition the entire fleet to new energy buses and introduce a minimum of 30 more electric buses by the end of 2026. Additionally, Hong Kong MTR will increase the number of charging facilities, installing 6 at the Tuen Mun Depot and 8 near Tin Shui Wai Station.