Electric Superbus Creates Luxury Thrills @ 155 mph

Posted on March 16, 2011 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

ABOUT PHOTO: The electric Superbus can transport 23 passengers at a top speed of 155 mph.

SUMMARY: The all-electric Superbus can slash the 77-mile commute between Dubai and Abu Dhabi to a mere 30 minutes.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The Superbus concept is the work of an astronaut and a former Formula One aerodynamics expert, and is being showcased at the COMMERCIAL VEHICLES MIDDLE EAST trade event in Dubai.

The midnight-blue bus travels at a top speed of 155 mph, is 49 feet long, 8 feet wide and 5.4 feet high, and has eight jet doors on each side. It can transport up to 23 passengers.

It is built from lightweight materials including aluminum, carbon fiber, fiberglass and polycarbonate, and weighs 20,944 lbs. fully loaded. It would carry passengers in levels of comfort that the design team says would be comparable to traveling in a luxury sedan.

Chief designer Antonia Terzi outlined her plans for the Superbus at the 2009 World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, but the project has made considerable progress since then. Terzi previously worked as the chief aerodynamicist at the BMW Williams Formula One team.

A prototype has been built and was unveiled in Germany in September 2010, shortly after it completed its first test run.

The vehicle is being developed at the Delft University of Technology in Holland under the direction of Professor Wubbo Ockels, who in 1985 became the first Dutch citizen in space when he blasted off onboard the space shuttle Challenger.

The project received $9.76 million grant from the Dutch government and has a number of heavyweight industrial backers, including the US chemicals giant Dow and the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation.

The Dutch team met with Dubai transport officials earlier this year, a senior Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) official confirmed.

“It’s a brilliant idea,” said Peyman Younes Parham, the RTA director of marketing and corporate communication. “It’s not something we could use as a public transportation vehicle, but it seems like a great sort of driver for tourism here, to make the stay of tourists more enjoyable so they can do more things in town. We could look at that as one of the angles.” Parham said the proposal was being discussed within the RTA.

The team has produced an animated video showing how the sleek, environment-friendly vehicle would whisk up to 23 commuters from the capital to Dubai at lightning speed. It would travel on normal roads and also a dedicated concrete track running parallel to the existing motorway.

The film shows the streamlined Superbus starting its journey in Abu Dhabi and traveling at normal speeds on the existing road network as it picks up passengers. When the bus leaves the city, it switches to the specially built track and accelerates to its cruising speed of 155 mph. Then, as it approaches Dubai, it slows to normal speeds, rejoins the road network and drops off passengers at their destinations.

There would be no set routes or schedules – instead, a central routing system would enable a fleet of the vehicles to pick up and drop off passengers wherever they wanted without the need to change buses.

“Commuters book online or with their mobile phone, and the bus picks them up and drops them at their desired location,” Terzi said. Brigadier General Hussein al Harethi, the head of the Abu Dhabi Traffic Police, said an electrically powered vehicle like the superbus would not only help alleviate traffic congestion, but also reduce air pollution.

“Electric vehicles are the transportation methods of today,” he said. “You see an increasing amount of them every day, and this is because of their positive impact on the environment.”


View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Why We Don’t Trust Driverless Cars Even When We Should

As Artificial Intelligence (AI) advances and deep learning matures, algorithms will run a greater share of our lives.

Lincoln Continental Unveiling Brings Out The Fan Club

South Bay Ford gives its fleet and retail customers an up-close look at the sedan that's creating a big buzz in the industry.

Clean, Classy Sprinter Perfect For Big Execs

Vehicle Pick Of The Week: This McSweeney Designs van is the way to go if you're trying to win corporate contracts.

2017 BMW 5 Series Lighter, Quicker, And Loaded With Tech

Product Review: The vehicle has an all-new iDrive infotainment system, with both a touchscreen and redundant physical controls.

Genesis G90 Attracts New Luxury Sedan Buyers

Product Review: Road noise is all but eliminated throughout the cabin, which seats five adults comfortably.

See More News

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (0)

Post a Comment



See More

See More

See More

See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - October 2016 $12.95 COVER STORY: * Leverage Tech To Levitate Your Operations * *


Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment


Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close