South Africa: GABS plans to procure 60 electric buses per year for Cape Town
The public transport operator Golden Arrow Bus Services (GABS) in the South African city of Cape Town is planning to gradually electrify its fleet of 1,100 diesel buses. From 2024, it will replace 60 buses per year with electric buses.
The decision was preceded by tests with two electric buses from Chinese manufacturer BYD. Therefore, GABS is now planning to convert its entire bus fleet to electric vehicles. The bodies of the electric buses will be assembled locally on the basis of imported chassis. Whether the chassis will come from BYD is not explicitly mentioned, but it is likely.
With an integration rate of 60 electric buses per year, the conversion of the fleet would take about 18 years. The aforementioned case study by Green Cape estimates the annual investment volume at about 324 million to 486 million rand (about 15.4 to 23.2 million euros).
GABS plans to fuel the buses with electricity from renewable sources – either locally produced or from the grid. Currently, the operator has installed grid-connected PV systems with an installed peak power of 1.7 MWp on six of its bus depots in Cape Town. However, if all 1,100 buses were theoretically to be charged with solar power in the future, 80 to 100 MW would be required.
According to media reports, the City of Cape Town, which wants to use GABS’ project for guidance, is also considering the procurement of electric buses for its MyCiti fleet, which consists of 374 buses.