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A cleaner way to get around in 2010

2009. 22 September

Zero-emission vehicles will be a feature of next year's World Expo and after the event will continue to play a role in the city's public transport system.

by Yang Jian
( People will see the world's most advanced technologies and green ideas in action next year, not only inside the pavilions at the Shanghai World Expo, but also on the roads outside. More than 500 new-energy, zero-emission vehicles will take visitors round the more than 200 pavilions on the 5.28-square-meter site.

The Expo theme is "Better City, Better Life" but some are calling it the "Olympics of Science and Economy."

Today, World Car Free Day, the organizer will officially announce details of plans for Expo transport.

Green-energy vehicles to be used at Expo will include zero-emission super-capacitor buses, fuel-cell vehicles and electric buses, said Gan Pin, manager of SAIC's new energy automobile department, a global partner of the world fair.

About 36 super-capacitor buses and 300 electric buses will serve as free shuttle transport for Expo visitors.

The super capacitor buses have advantages in high power output, long lifespan and fast charging. Electricity to power them for 100 kilometers costs just 70 yuan (US$10) compared to more than 200 yuan for conventional fuel-driven vehicles.

The electric bus features a combination of super capacitors and fuel cells.

Buses can change batteries when needed at stations around the Expo site. Mechanical arms at certain stops will change batteries automatically within 10 minutes and visitors will be able to observe the process in action.

There will be about 100 hydrogen fuel-cell tour buses with eight seats, rather like large golf carts, which will take visitors on the elevated pedestrian way that links different pavilions. Fees will apply for the tour buses.

Another 90 hydrogen fuel-cell cars will be used at the Expo Site to transport VIP guests.

These vehicles are low-noise and free of carbon dioxide. They get their power from the combination of hydrogen and oxygen, and water is the only emission.

Five hundred low-emission vehicles, including hybrid buses, will be used in areas surrounding the Expo Site.

After the Expo is over, most of the new-energy buses will continue to be used for public transport around the site.

In 2018, more than 20 percent of the world's vehicles will use green energies, said Hu Maiyuan, president of the SAIC.

Most popular

Hu said the Expo would accelerate the industrialization of new-energy vehicles in China and they would be manufactured on a large scale after the 2010 event.

He said electric vehicles would be the most popular of all new-energy vehicles.

The biggest problem with the electric bus was its huge cost, he said, with each electric bus costing more than 2 million yuan. "The Expo will also be a trial operation of the buses before being promoted to other areas of the city," he added.

The number of hybrid vehicles will also increase after the Shanghai event, Gan said. Shanghai will have about 4,000 hybrid vehicles being used as buses in three years.

Apart from the huge boost to the development of new-energy vehicles, the Expo will also upgrade the city's long-criticized traffic system.

With the Expo expecting 70 million visitors, traffic in the city will see a sharp increase.

According to a survey from Australia CPA, a professional accounting body, about 45 percent of experts from various fields from the mainland and Hong Kong think traffic congestion will be the biggest obstacle facing the Expo, followed by 40 percent who saw the environment as the main drawback to a successful event.

It will be difficult to adopt the odd-even system of number plates used at last year's Beijing Olympics to ease traffic congestion during the event, said Lawrence Lau, president of the Australia CPA Shanghai Committee.

However, the city government is sparing no efforts. It is constantly improving the public transport network in the city and encouraging people to reduce the use of private cars.

"Visitors will be able to reach the Expo Site within one hour from anywhere in the city and gain entry to the Site within 20 seconds using an advanced entry system at the Expo gates," the city government said in its Environmental Report for Expo 2010 Shanghai released in June.

Before Expo 2010 begins, Shanghai will have completed 400 kilometers of Metro lines, 300 kilometers of special public transport lanes and 84 public transport hubs.

The Metro lines in the site will take over 50 percent of the passenger flow to the site. Shuttle buses will take 35 percent while 10 percent of passengers will take ferries to enter the site.

Metro Line 13 has been designed as a special line for the Expo.

Five ferry routes and four surface transport lines have been designed as auxiliary lines. At the same time, many parking lots will be constructed around the Expo Park, especially for local buses, long-distance shuttles and special Expo cars. During parking lot construction, ecological and environmental protection requirements will be adopted and photo-catalyst technology will be adopted to degrade vehicle exhausts. Cutting-edge Technology On The Road 1. Super capacitor

Super capacitor buses have advantages in high power output, long lifespan and fast charging and discharging. They are able to release heavy currents to achieve rapid acceleration and to restore instant braking power in deceleration, thereby making up for the insufficient specific power of fuel cells. It generates no exhaust fumes so is a zero-emission vehicle.

2. Fuel-cell vehicle

Automobiles powered by hydrogen fuel cells are high-performance, low-noise, and pollution-free. The efficiency of fuel cells is up to 50-60 percent. Through the recovery of surplus heat, total efficiency can reach 80-85 percent.

3. Electric bus

The electric bus features a combination of super capacitors and fuel cells which act as a power generator. The cell-capacitor electric bus operates during the day and charges at night, taking advantage of lower demand on the power grid, thus improving loading distribution as well as balancing the maintenance and efficiency of the power grid.