China to trial catamaran tram bus that “takes up no road space”

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China to trial catamaran tram bus that “takes up no road space”

26 May 2016 | By Joe Quirke | 2 Comments

Beijing company Transit Explore Bus is to trial an electric bus that can carry up to 1,400 passengers without taking up any space on the road.

The “land airbus” appears to be a cross between a tram, a bus and a catamaran. The vehicle’s wheels straddle two lanes of vehicles and allow cars less than 2m tall to pass beneath it.

Transit Explore says airbus could replace 40 traditional buses, thereby cutting 2,480 tonnes of carbon emissions each year and saving 800 tonnes of fuel.

A model of the vehicle (pictured) was demonstrated at Beijing’s 19th International High-Tech Expo.

Song Youzhou, the project’s chief engineer, is quoted by the Xinhua news agency as saying: “The biggest advantage is that the bus will save lots of road space. Our first test bus is planned to be put on track in north China’s Qinhuangdao City at the end of July or in August.”

Car ownership is growing rapidly in China as 20 million extra drivers take to the road each year. As a result, traffic jams can be 100km in length.

Officials in China have raised a “red flag” for pollution in Beijing this year.