We now have “green” cars, bicycles and even trains – so why shouldn’t we get electric buses? And apparently Japan asked the same question, as a number of local companies and institutions launched a collaborative project with the aim of developing an eco-friendly, large-size bus.
The bus will be based on the Eliica, an Electric Lithium-Ion Car developed at Keio University in Tokyo and pictured above. A strange choice, given the futuristic and sports car-like design of that vehicle (top speed: 230 mph). But Isuzu will take care of the final body design of the bus, while Toshiba will contribute a 120kWh li-on battery (they surely have the expertise).
Led by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment (which sponsors the project with $5 million), the organizations involved in the project expect mass production to begin in 2011, with the bus expected to run 150km on a single charge. Running costs are supposedly 90% lower than those of a diesel engine bus.