Being situated in Gunma Prefecture this Japanese city is full of rice fields and highest number of cars per capita in the country.
Because of the difficulty to travel around the city on public transportation alone, a team composed of local university staff and employees of several companies launched the project called E-KomiBus. The project manager is Mr. Takarada Yasuyuki a Professor at Gunma University Department of Engineering. They have got a tiny 8 wheeled electric bus which goes on solar power.
The electric bus – E-KomiBus is on 173’’ long – seems to be shorter than a 2012 Honda Civic, has 10 seats and runs on lithium-ion batteries with a range of about 25 miles after 8 hour charging. Being hundred percent electrically E-KomiBus has a top speed of 12mph, and is very suited for driving through the narrow back streets uncovered by conventional bus routes. During clear weather solar panels on the rooftop helps this electric bus to substantially increase the range.
The local university hopes that tourists and senior citizens will use the E-KomiBus and as Professor Takarada expressed, “I wanted to build a bus that anyone can easily use with a light heart”.