Siemens Vietnam and Vietnam Motors Industry Corporation (Vinamotor) on Sept 18 signed an agreement to manufacture an ELFA hybrid bus prototype.

Siemens will supply all necessary ELFA components and provide technical support while Vinamotor will prepare the platform and manufacture the remaining parts of the bus for operational readiness.

This kind of city bus can reduce fuel consumption by up to 50 percent compared with standard models, and also mitigate its impact on the environment through lower exhaust emissions while providing maximum passenger comfort.

According to President and CEO of Siemens Vietnam Pham Thai Lai, the prototype is expected to be ready for initial demonstration by July next year. Upon successful production and testing, the prototype will be put into experimental operation with passengers on public roads for three months before a final performance evaluation. Serial production is expected to be carried out immediately after the evaluation stage.

"As the number of city dwellers in Vietnam increases, city buses continue to be a major means of public transport. Its role will remain essential in the future when there are mass transit systems such as a metro or mono-rail in big cities like Hanoi and HCM City.

"The successful implementation of the hybrid bus project will represent a significant milestone in the development of the automotive industry in Vietnam. Being unique in Southeast Asia, the project will not only help provide solutions for emerging challenges in energy efficiency, cost saving and environmental protection but also open up a great opportunity for this industry in exports," Lai said.-VNA