MyCiTi bus goes electric

The City of Cape Town has awarded a tender for battery-powered electric buses for the MyCiTi service to BYD SA Company.

The City of Cape Town has awarded a tender to a local company to build electric buses for its MyCiTi fleet. The 10 low-floor, battery-powered buses will be built in Cape Town and included in the current fleet of diesel vehicles.

The City says it hopes the pilot project will not only help to cut MyCiTi’s carbon footprint, but also give locals job opportunities and the chance to learn new skills, as this will be the first time electric buses are manufactured and assembled in Cape Town.

The announcement came ahead of International Climate Day of Action on Monday October 24.

“Alternative fuel for public transport is no longer a choice, but a prerequisite,” mayor Patricia de Lille said in a statement.

“As a member of the C40 Cities, we have committed to working with other member cities to take action to address climate change and build low-carbon, resource-efficient cities.”

The tender requires that the electric bus should be able to travel at least 250km in traffic before the batteries need recharging and the contractor, BYD SA Company, will also be responsible for building charging stations for the buses.

BYD SA Company would also have to create data management systems and spare parts and provide technical support and training for the bus drivers and mechanical staff.

The contract with the firm also stipulated that the electric buses had to be assembled locally in Blackheath and the manufacture of the bus bodies had to meet minimum local content and production values – that means hiring local staff and sourcing some of the bus components from local suppliers.

“The purpose of this pilot project is to evaluate the benefits of battery-powered electric buses as an alternative fuel option for the MyCiTi bus fleet which is to grow significantly over the next decade,” Ms De Lille said.

“The procurement of the electric buses affirms our commitment made at COP21 in Paris, where I committed to ensure that the City of Cape Town takes decisive action and pursues ambitious climate action projects that are not only beneficial to residents but most importantly, the environment,” said Ms De Lille.