Hong Kong’s first prototype electric bus, costing a whopping HKD3.8 million, went up in flames yesterday in a parking lot on the Yuen Long Industrial Estate.
The fire department blamed a short circuit and an overheated battery. The bus was designed in Hong Kong but assembled in mainland China. (Cue angry finger wagging at the motherland)
Scarily enough, the vehicle had just passed extensive road tests and had been given the all-clear for commercial use, according to the SCMP.
The police were first notified at 5.30pm, when a driver passing the parking lot noticed thick black smoke rising into the sky.
The fire department managed to put out the flames by 6pm, but there was no hope for the bus, which was sadly reduced to a charred wreck.
A spokesman for the Hong Kong Productivity Council, which designed and built the much-touted vehicle, expressed his astonishment (you’d certainly hope so) and said that the council would look into the matter.
Although the bus was designed in Hong Kong, it was manufactured by council experts on the mainland and underwent nine months of testing in Chongqing and Dongguan prior to its arrival here.
The diddy vehicle was just 11.75m long and weighed a mere 12.5 tonnes, 10 percent less than its petrol counterparts. Cute, when it’s not acting as an impromptu death chamber.
The project, funded by the government’s Innovation and Technology Fund and Green Dynamic, had been ongoing for almost two years. What a flaming disaster!