The Sabah government has announced that it will run an electric bus pilot project in Kota Kinabalu by the end of this year, according to state tourism, culture and environment minister Datuk Jafry Ariffin.

“This is an important development in getting our public transport on the right environmental track for the future. The volume of vehicle traffic on Sabah roads is ever increasing and no one can deny the fact that emissions from conventional vehicles contribute to climate change,” Jafry said in his statement, as reported by NST.

“We must do whatever we have at our disposal to address this dire situation that is an imminent threat to humanity. All around the world, usage of electric powered vehicles is on the increase as they are a more environmentally friendly way of getting around. We must move in this direction,” he added.

The e-Bus is the result of collaboration between QSB and Johor-based Gemilang Coachwork, with the latter being one of the leading electric bus and aluminium bus body manufacturers in Asia with more than three decades of industry experience.

“I would like to express my thanks to QSB, the state government’s strategic investment arm, for introducing this e-Bus product in Kota Kinabalu. In the absence of mass rapid transit in Kota Kinabalu for now, electric powered buses or e-Buses can be a viable alternative for a clean public transport service,” Jafry commented, adding that relevant authorities should explore the use of e-Buses for other parts of Sabah.

The e-Bus has a capacity of up to 66 passengers and is equipped with a boarding ramp to provide easier access for the elderly and disabled. The pilot project is expected to begin once coordination with local authorities is completed to facilitate the movement of commuters in Kota Kinabalu.