|Photo by City of Adelaide|
Beginning in 2010, the city began implementing a sustainability plan including extensive pedestrian walkways and bike paths as well as the new fleet of Tindo (Aboriginal for "sun") buses.
Unlike the gas-powered or hybrid fleets found around the world, the Tindo is completely electric so it's zero emission, and unlike San Francisco's MUNI, it doesn't draw power from overhead lines. In fact, the bus doesn't power itself at all.
There are no solar panels actually on the vehicle itself. Instead each bus charges like an overgrown Roomba at the Adelaide Central Bus Station before setting out on its routes around town. In average traffic conditions, the Tindo can cover 200 km (about 125 miles) before needing to recharge, thanks in part to a regenerative braking system that increases the vehicle's energy efficiency by some 30 percent.
Tindo is air-conditioned and can carry up to 40 passengers, with 25 standard seats, 2 seats especially designed for disabled passengers and room for 13 standing passengers. The bus saved the Council over 14,000 litres of diesel and the environment over 70,000kg of CO2-e in its first year.Now that the City of Tallahassee has the first electric buses in the US, can we ask that the Phase Two of this development be electric buses powered by solar instead of electricity generated via natural gas?