In China, buses that run on electricity generated by solar powered cells entered northeastern China’s public transport fleet in July. They are the first solar hybrid buses in the country. The buses currently operate in the city of Qiqihar, which is northeast of China’s Heilongjiang province.
The buses are equipped with solar panels installed on the roof. The panels harvest solar energy and feed electric power into lithium-ion batteries that power the buses’ engines. Solar energy can prolong the batteries’ lives by 35 percent, a projected 35 years. According to researchers, the buses consume between 0.6 and 0.7 kilowatt hours of electricity. The solar photovoltaic-powered electric buses have a capacity of 100 passengers.
A new fleet of buses in Qiqihar, China’s batteries are powered by Solar panels. Credit: New Energy Automobile.
The buses were manufactured by Heilongjiang Qiquar Longhua New Energy Automobile. China has announced ambitious plans in the clean transport sector. China has already invested $15 billion on electric vehicle infrastructure, and the government has expanded a plan to introduce electric vehicles in 25 cities.
Recently, the government directed the car manufacturers to increase annual production capacity of clean cars to 2 million by 2020. The government aims to achieve sales and production of half a million clean energy cars by 2015 and 5 million by 2020.