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Topography Impedes Electric Bus Use

Duarte Sousa, from Horários do Funchal, attended the ‘Electric and Sustainable Mobility’ Seminar today. An initiative organised by the Regional Secretariat for Agriculture and Environment, in partnership with JM. During his speech, he categorically stated that the use of electric buses in Funchal is constrained by the island’s topography.

Focusing on Electric Mobility in Public Transport, the speaker recalled that, in 2017, an electric bus was tested and the findings proved that it could only be used on 7 routes. In 2019, the fleet was renewed, with buses that had to be adapted to be able to travel on the roads.

According to Duarte Sousa, “we will have to design the future, and that is why, regarding capacity, there has to be an increase.”

Regarding the risks of fires, the speaker gave an account of two worldwide cases in which buses were consumed by flames. “I can’t stick my head in the sand and pretend this doesn’t exist,” he said, noting measures designed to mitigate the risks, including separation barriers.

“That’s not why we won’t adopt an electric fleet, but we need to reflect, ponder, and adopt best practices,” he concluded.

Samantha Gannon

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