Sunday, August 29, 2010

SBS Transit's Sunlong SLK6121/Singapore's first Hybrid public bus - SBS8000Z

SBS8000Z nearing the end of another run on 185 at Bouna Vista
SBS Transit's first China bus, the Sunlong SLK6121 Hybrid commenced revenue service on the 8th August 2010 on svc 185 between Bouna Vista terminal and Soon Lee Bus Park. This hybrid bus is the second type of clean bus that joined SBST's fleet after the B10BLE CNG buses.

A little bit of history; SBS8000Z used to be the registration for this bus, a Nissan Civillian that was registered on the 10th May 1990.
SBS8XXX registration series used to be reserved for small buses such as Nissan Civilians (above), Mercedes 811D and Dennis Darts.More rencently, it is used to register larger 12m MKIV Soon Chows and the dominant registration range for Scania K230UB WAB buses.
(Photo from Singapore Buses Volume 1, Part 2 by Mike Davis & Ron Phillips.)

The bumper area is similar to the K230UB's design, with grey paint in the middle and similar headlight design.

The rear is inspired by the KUBs (possibly SBS8033D), with a more radical and futuristic design.
At first sight, the Sunlong reminds of a Scania K230UB EEV. The front with the grey paint job reminds of the Scania's front and similarities to the KUB's design, Hanover EDS and and a similar headlight design. This is because Gemilang Coachworks (Malaysia) is one of the partners together with ComfortDelgro Engineering and Shanghai Sunlong Bus Company; Gemilang provides the bodywork, Sunlong provides the hybrid tehcnology/chassis and ComfortDelgro Engineering integrating the bus for SBS Transit.

Two poles at the front of the first aid kit door, will it hinder the first aid door from being opened?

The almost similar front of the driver cab, except with the Sunlong sunblind.

The moulded seats and the cover over the front wheels are the same as the Euro EEVs.
Upon stepping into the bus, one is greeted with a different interior colour. White, grey with dashes of purple on the grabpoles is enhanced with the yellow/red Volgrelsitze gives the interior. Refreshing yet familiar interior, after tolerating the horrors of 1100 KUBs with the same exact dull brown and mismatched purple grabpoles! (check out the review on K230UB's interior). It is aesthically pleasing

There are more seats in the front part of the bus compared to the K230UBs EEV, and two seats over the arch of the front wheels.

The wheelchair bay, with a passenger using it as a standee area.

A poster highlighting the unqiue capabilities of this bus.
The steps leading to the rear are also different from the designs found on the KUBs.
The bus unable to catch up with the schedule for the first few trips in the morning. The morning driver was trying out the hybrid features, resulting in the bus unable to speed and had to be forced to downroute several times.

The afternoon shift saw it being driven by another driver, who applied more diesel for acceleration where needed while maintaing cruise speed using electricity. This allowed the bus to be able to catch up with schedule.

Another special feature not found in any public buses now is the Eaton transmission. The bus feels like it is on a manual gearbox, but automatically changes gear; it is similar to the gear changes in the retired 2 axle Leyland Olympians.
ZF axles are used on the Sunlong bus.
 The idea of a hybrid bus is great idea, using both diesel and electric to reduce emissions and fuel consumption, and this hybrid is a viable competitior over Euro EEV/ Euro VI buses in the future.

The hybrid bus technology is a viable option over Euro EEV/VI buses in the future.

SBS Transit's press release  here.


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