Ride the Electric Abu Dhabi Stretch Limo SuperBus

The midnight blue “electric” Superbus comes fully loaded. Backed by Dow Chemicals, is this another example of westerners catering to the whimsy of oil rich sheikhdoms?

Commuting time between the United Arad Emirates super cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi could be cut in half in a newly invented electric Superbus able to ply the 124 km distance in only 30 minutes, according to The National. The new electric stretch limo, or sleek super bus,  is 15 meters long, 2.5 meters wide and 1.65 meters high,  has eight gull wing-style doors on each side, and can accommodate up to 23 passengers in “limousine style” comfort at speeds of 250 km per hour. A dream car for Batman or another example of the bad taste of ostentatious wealth?

Developed by the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, the project has received a grant of 7 million Euro to develop the vehicle which is a total electric car that will be powered by lithium-ion battery packs similar to those being developed for cars like those from the American company Tesla Motors, whose super fast sports models have been purchased by a few wealthy Abu Dhabi residents.

Tesla, which recently floated a stock IPO worth $174 million, was invested in by Abu Dhabi’s Al Wahada Capital Investment company which purchased a 7.8 percent stake in Tesla.

Tesla electric sport roadster

Abu Dhabi, and its oil and trading rich citizens have been known for purchasing unusual and often ostentatious types of cars, including a white gold Mercedes Benz V10 Quad Turbo sports car, as well as a white gold plated Bentley 66GTS Sports Racing Coupe.

Gold plated Bentley 66GTS Sports Coupe

While the “super bus” is being promoted as being a green form of transportation due to being powered by electricity, having such a car zooming down the roads at such a high rate of speed doesn’t sound like a very safe device, even though it will travel on its own dedicated concrete track running parallel to the existing motorway after picking up its passengers.

The cost per passenger for such a vehicle to travel in such a conveyance will probably be very high; and this is not including what must be a very  expensive infrastructure cost for both the cars themselves, as well as the special road track that will have to be built for it.

According to the National:

The vehicle is being developed at the Delft University of Technology in Holland under the direction of Professor Wubbo Ockels, who in 1985 became the first Dutch citizen in space when he blasted off on board the space shuttle Challenger.

The project received a €7 million (Dh35.5m) grant from the Dutch government and has a number of heavyweight industrial backers, including the US chemicals giant Dow and the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation  (Sabic).

“It’s a brilliant idea,” said Peyman Younes Parham, the RTA director of marketing and corporate communication. “It’s not something we could use as a public transportation vehicle, but it seems like a great sort of driver for tourism here, to make the stay of tourists more enjoyable so they can do more things in town. We could look at that as one of the angles.”

Since the super buses will need to recharged at the end of their 124 km journey,  the company that would be maintaining them might well consider the batter exchange network now being debuted by the Better Place which has already debuted this network in Denmark.

“I think the Dutch smoke to much weed,” was one comment on YouTube, featuring the car. See below.

Perhaps it might be better to consider a high speed electric powered commuter tram system that would ply the distance between the two city states at the same speed and might be safer for its passengers as well. But for a locale where wealthy oil sheikhs are accustomed to racing over the desert sands in fancy “high line” salons and SUV’s, taking the train just wouldn’t be the same.

::The National

Read more on electric and green cars:

Tesla Motors IPO Races Through Abu Dhabi But is the EV Practical?

Abu Dhabi’s White Gold Biofuel Mercedes : Another Dubious Green Investment?

Better Place Reveals Danish Electric Car Prices

Better Place Gets a “Charge” with GE Partnership

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One thought on “Ride the Electric Abu Dhabi Stretch Limo SuperBus”

  1. Really a new way of travelling!

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