Málaga has been chosen for trials of new rapid-charging stations for electric buses.  The French multinational Alstom, based in Paris, has announced that it will be using a new 100 per cent electric vehicle called Aptis when testing starts early next year.  The company, which specialises in the rail transport sector, says that the recharging system is the first to be based away from the urban centre of a bus operator’s area.

The Aptis vehicles can be charged for six hours overnight which gives enough power for a bus to run all day.  However, the innovative system to be trialled in Málaga consists of a plate installed on the ground over which the driver can pause for five minutes of rapid charging.

It will be tried out with Alstom’s own Aptis vehicle as well as with other buses, because it is designed for use for a range of vehicles including trams, lorries and electric cars.  Aptis was designed from the ground up, rather than being adapted from existing diesel electric units, and Alstom says it already has three prototypes running and will move to full manufacturing starting this year.

The company describes the vehicle as being more like a train with a structure which will give a working life of up to 25 years.  It can carry 95 passengers and has a fifth more glass with panoramic windows at each end.  With four steerable wheels, instead of the two found on a traditional bus, Aptis is said to make more economic uses of road space.