MALACCA: The first ever electric buses in Malaysia is set to ply the streets in the Historical City in mid-August as hop-on hop-off buses for tourists visiting historical sites.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron said he had received two electric buses in early July and come mid-August, Malacca would become the pioneer state in the country to use electric buses on public roads.

“This is part of the state government's effort in not only going green, but also improving the mass public transport system for tourists and local residents.

“Malacca would receive a total of 40 electric buses by the end of this year.” he said.

The green bus fleet uses technology supplied by Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, known as SAIC Motor Corporation Ltd, which is a joint-venture with AMDAC Sdn Bhd, operated by Panorama Melaka Sdn Bhd.

Idris said the bus was meant to deliver an environmentally friendly fleet that reduced carbon emissions, improved air quality and lowered pollution. It is powered by nine lithium iron phosphate batteries.

“The electric buses would also be equipped with close circuit television (CCTV) cameras, seven inside the bus and two outside the vehicle. The system is installed to ensure passenger safety,” he said.

Moreover, Idris said an LED screen measuring 0.9 by 2.4 metres would also be installed at the back of the bus to convey important information and advertising purposes.

“Most importantly, this electric bus has facilities for people with disabilities. Apart from providing a special place for the disabled, the bus body can also be lowered to make it easier for disabled people to board the vehicle,” he said.

Idris also said since the government is promoting cashless system, the electric bus does is equipped with a cashless ticketing system and passengers can use the Touch n Go to pay for their ride.

“The bus runs on 100 per cent electricity so there is no smell of fuel and noisy engine sound.

“A charging station has been placed at Melaka Sentral Bus Terminal and similar stations would be build at the Alor Gajah Sentral and Jasin Sentral bus terminals besides one in Masjid Tanah and the Sungai Rambai rest area along the Lebuh AMJ.

“Each full charge will take about 100 minutes and a bus can run up to 180km on a full charge," he said.

Each bus has a seating capacity of 33 passengers with another 38 people standing.

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