June 4, 2012: After visiting Shenzhen in China and seeing how locals there have favourably received electric buses (EBs), RapidKL, Malaysia’s largest public bus operator, has decided to add 15 to 20 such vehicles to its fleet by mid-2014. The EBs, expected to cost between RM700,000 and RM800,000 (US$225,000 to US$258,000), are more expensive than diesel-powered ones priced between RM400,000 and RM500,000.
The EBs, however, are cheaper in the long run. Prasarana group director (bus) Zohari Sulaiman said on June 2: "When you compare the 10-year life cycle of both buses, the electric bus is slightly cheaper and helps eliminate a lot of maintenance and invisible costs such as breakdowns. Plus it emits no gas at all." Plans are also afoot to accommodate the new buses so that the batteries and their capacitors can be housed and charged in the facility. (Source: New Straits Times, Malaysia)