The world’s first completely electric solar-powered bus was introduced in Adelaide, Australia toward the end of last year. The bus, named the Tindo, is not only the first of its kind (although there have been other solar-power “assisted” hybrid buses), but it is also completely free to Adelaide residents, and offers free wifi as an added bonus! The Adelaide City Council commissioned the bus from New Zealand company Designline International as part of a larger move toward a greener transportation infrastructure. A 2010 study showed that 36% of Adelaide’s greenhouse gas emissions came from transportation, and plenty of residents have taken notice, as evidenced by a surge in hybrid-car purchases.
What makes Adelaide’s Tindo bus, named after an Aboriginal word for “sun,” particularly interesting, however, is that there are no solar panels on the bus itself. Instead, the bus receives electric power from solar panels located on the city’s main bus station. The Tindo bus is expected to save over 70,000 kg of carbon and 14,000 liters of diesel fuel in its first year alone, and because of its revolutionary technology, was featured in the Solar City Convention Spirit Festival and has received wide coverage in the clean-tech community.
Ultimately, the success of the Tindo bus, an engineless answer to the problem of greenhouse gas emissions, proves that public transportation can be vastly improved throughout the world with very little inconvenience, if any, to the public. And in the fight against climate change, more of these buses are exactly what the world needs.