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Ethiopia - Electric bus manufacturing on track
By Andualem Sisay
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - RusAfro Trolley, the first electric bus in Africa which is soon planned to be manufactured in Ethiopia, will arrive in Addis Ababa on August 18, 2007.
“Besides solving the public transportation problems of Addis Ababa, it also contributes a lot in protecting the environment from pollution,” says Engineer Getachew Eshetu, Manager and owner of Afro-Asia Technical Trading Enterprise and 70 per cent share holder of Ethio-Russia electric bus. One Russian company works on the body of the trolley bus, while another other deals with the electrics.
The company is scheduled to discuss on Tuesday with the Ethiopian Electric Power Light Authority and decide on the first line for the trolley bus. One trolley bus costs around 100,000 USD in Europe but the company is planning to manufacture the buses at less cost. It also plans to reduce the cost to bus users in Addis Ababa by half.
The agreement to manufacture electric buses in Ethiopia was signed among the three parties last October: two Russian companies with 15 per cent shares each and 70 per cent from Engineer Getachew Eshetu. Currently the factory is under construction in Amhara Region, Debre Markos on 40,000 square meters. Except for some electrical components all the parts will be manufactured locally, according to Engineer Getachew.
When the factory becomes fully operational it is expected to create jobs for 5,000 employees and the cost of transportation is also expected to decline by then. According to the study conducted by the manufacturers, Addis Ababa needs 1,200 trolley busses to give service for the ever-increasing residents of the city by reaching at least one station in every 15 minutes.
The company plans to manufacture 500 trolley buses per year and is also undertaking studies to provide for other African countries. Uganda, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania and Nigeria are the countries that the company is planning to undertake studies to introduce its products.
Back ground about electric bus from the Internet will be added.
Trolley bus powered by two overhead wires, from which it draws electricity using two trolley poles. Two poles are required in order to accommodate the return current, which cannot pass to the ground as in the case of an electric tram (also called an streetcar) since trolleybuses use rubber tires, rather than steel wheels on rail.
The history of the trolleybus dates back to April 29, 1882, when Dr. Ernst Werner von Siemens ran his “Elektromote” in a Berlin suburb. This experimental demonstration continued until June 13, 1882, after which there was little progress in Europe, although separate experiments were conducted in the USA.
The next development was when Lombard Gérin operated an experimental line at the Paris Exhibition of 1900 after four years of trials. Max Schiemann made the biggest step when on July 10, 1901. The world’s first passenger-carrying trolleybus operated at Bielathal (near Dresden) in Germany.
The first trolley vehicle in Russia was built in Saint Petersburg in 1902 at Frese machine building factory. It utilized a carriage-type current receiver like the early von Siemens prototypes. There was no attempt to organize passenger or cargo services at this time.
The first operational trolleybus service was introduced in 1933 in Moscow. In Soviet cities with underground metropolitan railways, trolleybus systems were intended to replace tramcars. In reality such plans were partially performed in the 1950s rather than in the 1930s. The first Soviet-made passenger trolleybus LK-1 was named after Politburo member Lazar Kaganovich. It was a dangerous and unreliable vehicle, quickly replaced by more advanced YaTB vehicles.
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