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Japan consortium pioneers electric bus system in Malaysia

nna/Kyodo

An experimental electric bus system has been introduced in Malaysia’s administrative capital to reduce carbon emissions, in a demonstration project sponsored by a Japanese consortium of public and private partners.

The system uses a fleet of eight buses capable of running for 30 kilometers on a 10-minute battery charge, initially catering to public transportation in the federal territory of Putrajaya, south of Kuala Lumpur.

The consortium and its local partner, Putrajaya Corp., are planning to add two double-decker buses, mainly for tourists, next year.

The ¥3.6 billion ($33 million) project, led by the Japanese government-backed New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, is in line with the city’s initiative to cut carbon emissions 40 percent by 2025.

The eight single-decker electric buses, each accommodating 65 passengers, have been operated commercially since June to serve two 23-km routes with the support of three “Super Quick Charging” terminals.

Makoto Watanabe, executive director of the Japanese organization known as NEDO, said it chose Putrajaya to operate the first electric buses in Southeast Asia as the city has “the best green ecosystem and great plans to achieve the goal of low-carbon transportation.”

The consortium includes Toshiba Infrastructure Systems & Solutions Corp., environmental equipment manufacturer Hasetec Corp., EV-related device and software developer Pues Corp. and Oriental Consultants Global Co.

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