More electric buses to be introduced in Central Taiwan

Taichung City government announced plans to retire diesel powered buses for electric powered models over the next 2 years.

An electric bus at Taichung airport (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- The Taichung city government announced on Tuesday Nov. 14 that the city would be switching 50 of its diesel powered buses to electric powered models.

The transportation bureau announced that between 2018 and 2020 fifty diesel buses in the city would be upgraded to electric powered buses, starting with buses running on the routes with the heaviest traffic.

As of November 2017 the Transportation Bureau of Taichung already operates 70 electric buses, the highest number of any city in Taiwan.

By the end of 2018, the plans call for Taichung to be running 150 of the electric models. The plan also calls for 45 charging stations to be constructed around the city to ensure that the circulation of buses and traffic throughout the city remains steady.

The move is part of a much larger strategy to reduce air pollution in the city. It also reflects a national goal to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, and to expand the use of energy sources that will be less damaging to the environment.

Taichung hopes this will be a major first step to boost electric vehicle infrastructure throughout the city as part of a "Green Transportation" initiative. The city has reportedly been granted NT$ 330 million over the coming years in subsidies to assist in the project and to help purchase additional buses.

Electric buses were first introduced in Taiwan in 2014 when Miaoli Motor transportation ltd. began purchasing them from the Chinese BYD Company ltd.