The City of Cape Town has said that will launch a tender for a fleet of electric buses to supplement its existing diesel fleet.
The city announced plans to procure a fleet of 12m-long electric buses for its MyCiTi network, which would make it the first municipality in South Africa to run electric buses for public transport.
So far the city has not announced how many buses it requires, though the tender will specify that the vehicles should be able to travel at least 250km in traffic without recharging batteries.
A further fleet of double decker buses for longer journeys may also be purchased,
The successful bidder is expected to provide charging stations for the buses and training for drivers and engineers.
The tender is due to be published by the first week of February.
Cape Town launched its MyCiTi service in 2010 just before the 2010 FIFA World Cup and according to the city mayor’s office the service has recorded 38.5m passenger journeys since inception.
The Cape Town mayor’s office said: “Apart from electric buses being eco-friendly with zero carbon emissions if we use solar power charging stations, a green fleet holds numerous other advantages.
“The operational cost of electric buses is significantly lower – not only in terms of fuel, but also in relation to maintenance as there are fewer parts to service.
"Electric buses are easier to drive, the motors generate less heat than traditional diesel engines, there is much less noise, and it is a smoother drive for passengers and bus drivers alike.”