Go-Ahead Singapore will gradually roll out 50 more buses equipped with ultra-thin solar cells to reduce its carbon footprint. The company stated in a press release that 52 buses will have these roof-mounted solar panel systems by April.
These include two buses that were on trial from March 2021. This is the first time such solar panels had been installed on buses in Singapore. They ran on Service 15.
After a successful trial in Southampton in Britain, the initiative was put into action in Singapore, according to Go-Ahead. Because of their light weight and flexibility, ultra-thin panels were preferred to conventional solar panels.
The purpose of the trial was to assess the effectiveness and performance of the buses in harnessing solar energy and reducing carbon emissions under Singapore’s tropical climate.
The solar panels are ultra-thin and convert solar energy to electricity, which is used to charge the bus’ battery. Go-Ahead stated that this reduces the load on bus alternators, which in turn saves fuel.
Go-Ahead stated that the results of the trial were positive and it was able to achieve fuel savings of 3 to 4 percent per year. This amounts to approximately 3.7 to 4 tons of carbon emissions per bus annually.
After the trial’s results, Go-Ahead announced that it had decided to install solar panels onto more buses following consultation with the Land Transport Authority.
The company stated that the buses will be fully operational for passenger service by the end of the year. This is equal to the carbon emissions of 43 passenger cars.
According to the company, this initiative aligns with Go-Ahead’s efforts to support sustainable transport and Go-Ahead’s ambition to become a net-zero-carbon business by 2045.
It added that it was in line with Singapore’s pledge to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
Andrew Thompson, the managing director of the company, stated that “Installing roof-mounted solar panels on diesel buses is one option in which we can make them greener and more efficient up to the end of their useful lives.”
“Go-Ahead Singapore will continue its collaboration with the Land Transport Authority in order to develop innovative solutions that improve commuter experience and reduce our environmental footprint.”