The first 10 buses from the extraordinary order of 741 Yutong zero-emission buses have arrived in Qatar. The buses will be provided with charging infrastructure from Swiss-Swedish company ABB.
Towards the end of last year, the Chinese bus manufacturer Yutong received a record order for 741 electric buses from Mowasalat, the public transport company in Qatar. The buses are planned to help with the crowds at World Cup held on the Arabian Peninsula in 2022, beyond which they will be used for the country’s public transport network which is almost entirely made up of bus services. This makes it possible to realise the Qatari aim to have 25% of its public bus network operating on electricity by 2022, rising to 100% by 2030.
Yutong has now delivered the first 10 electric buses which are said to be customised to the local transport needs and weather conditions. The buses are equipped with a liquid cooling system and a 350-kWh lithium iron phosphate battery suitable for a hot climate and should be capable of an average range of over 200 km.
Yutong electric bus factory in Qatar
Yutong Bus is cooperating with the Qatar government and partners to aid the transition to zero-emission public transport: the publication Trade Arabia has said that a KD factory will be soon be established “to realise localised design and manufacturing of EV buses that better suit the special geographic and climate conditions of Qatar.” The initial electric bus contract of the 741 electric buses mentioned above was flanked by a framework agreement between Yutong, the Qatar Free Zones Authority and Mowasalat for the construction of a factory for the assembly of electric buses in Qatar. Starting at the end of 2022, a total of 1,500 electric buses are to be assembled in the emirate within seven years, which will also be destined for export to other countries in the Middle East, Europe, South America and Africa.
The larger picture of course includes charging infrastructure which will now be provided by ABB, but also power generation with solar energy, abundant in the Middle Eastern state. For its electricity needs, Qatar wants to produce 700MW from solar panels by 2022, which will be undertaken by US gas and renewable energy company Avangrid (formerly Energy East and Iberdrola USA). Just last month, the Qatar Investment Authority bought some $740 million Avangrid shares, acquiring up to 3.7% of its common stock.
ABB charging infrastructure
The contract to design, supply, test and commission a new high-power charging infrastructure in Qatar has now been awarded to the Swiss-Swedish company ABB. In partnership with Mannai Trading Company, Qatar’s public works authority Ashghal and fleet operator Mowasalat, ABB has the task of designing and deploying heavy vehicle charging equipment across multiple locations in Qatar. This includes four bus depots, eight bus stations and 12 metro stations.
For the Qatari project, ABB will be supplying over 125 MW of charging capacity, which will require 1,300 connectors for destination charging and 89 opportunity chargers, four of which should be mobile. The Qatar project involves an agreement with ABB for a three-year service level agreement. ABB also has the task of providing the data connection and interfaces to connect and integrate the charging infrastructure operation into the Mowasalat Fleet Management System for 24/7 fleet optimisation.