An automotive firm has begun testing electric dolmuşes with an eye to weaning the country’s public transport vehicles off their dependence on gasoline.
The dolmuşes – share taxis that run set routes within cities – are environmentally friendly, silent and cheap, according to officials from the BD company, which has transformed converted the vehicles to an electric system.
“The electric minibus charges itself when you step on the brake and is also environmentally friendly,” BD’s Cankut Özkorkut recently told the Hürriyet Daily News. “Our next aim is to extend this system to public transport.”
The vehicles are charged with 380 volts of electricity by a plug; with a full battery, they can travel 190 kilometers and reach a maximum speed of 190 km, according to information provided by BD company officials.
“They don’t utilize any energy or fuel when stuck in traffic,” Özkorkut said, adding that it was possible to save a considerable amount of energy in the country by using electric vehicles.
“We can also contribute to the country’s economy by saving it from a dependence on gasoline,” Özkorkurt said.
The electric dolmuş was test-driven Nov. 28 on the Üsküdar-Kadıköy route in Istanbul.
“The use of the automatic gear felt especially comfortable,” Yellow Dolmuş Lines Association head Mehmet Ayvaz told the Daily News after a test run. “It is silent – it’s as if it isn’t running. Drivers will like it a lot.”
However, Ayvaz said he wondered how many kilometers a vehicle could drive with a full battery. “There are routes which require more than 190 kilometers. For example, on the Kadıköy-Beykoz line, a driver could travel 400 kilometers in a day,” Ayvaz said.
Özkorkut said BD would open quick charging points in Istanbul so that it would be possible to charge the electric vehicles within 45 minutes.
“This costs nothing compared to the petrol-driven ones,” he said. “We won’t charge any money for charging. Drivers should then consider the fact that they’ve paid for the fuel cost at the beginning.”
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News