x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 13 December 2017

Superbus which can do 250kph is deemed road legal

A 250kph Superbus that could make the journey from Abu Dhabi to Dubai in just 30 minutes is now road legal, after authorities in the Netherlands gave it a registration plate.

The world's fastest bus caused a sensation when it went on show at a trade fair in Dubai last year.
The world's fastest bus caused a sensation when it went on show at a trade fair in Dubai last year.

DUBAI // A 250kph Superbus that could make the journey from Abu Dhabi to Dubai in just 30 minutes is now road legal, after authorities in the Netherlands gave it a registration plate.

The team behind the €7million (Dh32m) project can now test the vehicle on public roads to assess performance - a vital step towards its introduction into service.

The world's fastest bus caused a sensation when it went on show at a trade fare in Dubai last year. Its creators have had talks with authorities in the UAE about the possibility of it being used here.

The vehicle was put through its paces during a demonstration run at Masdar City in Abu Dhabi.

The electric bus is being developed at the Delft University of Technology under the direction of Professor Wubbo Ockels, a former astronaut. Its new plate - number BX-XG-15 - was fitted by a Dutch minister, who then drove it.

When in service, the bus will carry 23 passengers between cities, travelling on normal roads and a dedicated concrete track running parallel to the existing motorway.

"We have done lots of testing and commissioning," said the bus's designer, Antonia Terzi, who previously worked in Formula One. "We made a video of testing the anti-lock brakes in snow and that attracted quite a lot of attention."

The bus is 15 metres long, 2.5m wide and 1.65m high, with eight gull-wing doors on each side. It is made of lightweight materials including aluminium and weighs just 9.5 tonnes fully loaded.

csimpson@thenational.ae