Eight-Wheels All-Electric Bus Tested in Japan, Not Ready for Public Roads…Yet

All manner of electric vehicles are in development – scooters, cars, buses, you name it. Keio University in Tokyo has been playing with electric buses. Their prototype was inspected on March 17th this year, and it’s been out on campus roads since April 20th. It still hasn’t made it to public roads though.

The design for the bus is similar to the Eliica (Electric Lithium Ion Car) first shown by Keio in 2004, except, obviously, that it’s a bus. It has the same wheel hub motors – eight, for the 8-wheeled vehicle. The batteries and inverter have been built into the Isuzu-designed aluminum frame. Keio hasn’t said how long it takes to fully charge the Toshiba SCiB batteries, but the bus has an alleged range of about 75 miles.

The electric bus project was commissioned by the Ministry of the Environment, and the development team includes more than just affiliates of the university. In addition to the previously mentioned Isuzu and Toshiba, the Kanagawa Bus Association, Bridgestone, and unnamed others were also part of the project.

This month’s test drive saw members of the general public boarding the bus, which made two round trips between theKeio University Shonan Fujisawa Station and the nearest train station (Shonandai Station, about two and a half miles away).

A similar test is planned in Yokohama on the 27th, with no word on when the fully electric bus will go into public service.

Source | Gallery: Response.jp

Charis Michelsen

spent 7 years living in Germany and Japan, studying both languages extensively, doing translation and education with companies like Bosch, Nissan, Fuji Heavy, and others. Charis has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and currently lives in Chicago, Illinois. She also believes that Janeway was the best Star Trek Captain.