The futuristic Eco friendly public transportation….155 mph electric Superbus ready for the road......
A high speed electric Superbus built in The Netherlands is now street legal after the government there issued a license plate for the radical form of mass transportation.
The 23-passenger vehicle is being developed by a program at the Delft Institute of Technology headed up by physicist and former astronaut Wubbo Ockels, who in 1985 became the first Dutch citizen to travel into space on the last successful flight of the Space Shuttle Challenger. . Instead of a tall box-like cabin with an aisle and hard wide seats, the Superbus is aerodynamic, the sleek, 50-foot-long six-wheel vehicle and luxurious cushioned seats looks more like a stretch limo version of an exotic sports car than a typical bus, and features 16 gullwing doors and a central seating position for the driver.
Powered by lithium-ion batteries it has a theoretical range of 134 miles per charge and a top speed of 155 mph.
Though it does look good, the Superbus, as it’s called, has been named more for its speed, than for its beauty and mobility, Dubai and Abu Dhabi have shown interest in building a road between the two United Arab Emirates with a dedicated lane for a fleet of zero-emissions Superbuses, which would run on electricity generated by solar power and complete the 75-mile journey in just 30 minutes.
Still at least three years away from production, with the license plate it can now be tested on public roads in the Netherlands. Along with runs up to 86 mph on a closed course, it has also been seen being tested on a snow-covered track, something not likely to come in too handy in its proposed desert home.
The designers hope that the Superbus might be the answer to urban congestion. It’s as long as a normal public transportation bus, but it’s far more mobile thanks to two pairs of rear wheels that can turn independently, thus reducing the turning radius. The idea is that the Superbus would come to your house when you call, and pick you up, rather than you going to a bus stop. It would maneuver almost like a limousine through normal traffic, then go into high-speed mode on a dedicated concrete road, then maneuver normally near your destination.
The Superbus holds 23 passengers is made with super light carbon fiber materials, and is powered by an electric motor backed up by lithium polymer batteries. The chief design engineer on the team is Antonia Terzi, formerly of BMW-Williams Formula 1, hence the aerodynamic design that cuts down on energy needs and allows the vehicle to travel safely at high speeds. Inside, it’s all about comfort and luxury, with seats that look like something off a roller-coaster, television, internet access and air bags for the passengers; up front, there’s space age technology for the driver; obstacle detection, navigational aids and state of the art communications and fail-safe backup systems.