By Kelly Fritz www.insidelux.com
First presented at the 2009 World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, Antonia Terzi’s Superbus has since evolved from an eco-friendly and convenient idea, to a fully manifested electric superbus.
Antonia, formerly the chief aerodynamicist at the BMW Williams Formula One team received a 7 million pound (11,409,510 USD) grant to create the sleek shuttle bus destined to run between Abu Dhabi and Dubai in only 30 minutes. Funds gathered from several major optimistic backers such as, the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic), the Dutch government and US chemicals giant, Dow, were put to use in the making of the first Superbus prototype.
Teamed up with Antonia is Professor Wubbo Ockles, (known for being the first Dutch citizen sent into space), of Delft University of Technology in Holland, where the actual construction has taken place. Combining the nearly unfathomable top speed, optimized routing system and custom Superbus track, has allowed a cut of on-road travel between the two major cities from approximately 90-120 minutes to just 30 minutes. Made of ultra-light materials like aluminum, carbon fiber, fiberglass and polycarbonate, the 23 passenger, 16 door, completely electric vehicle weighs in at only 9,500kg (10.5 tons) and reaches a top speed of 250 kph (155.5mpH).
Not only is the revolutionary superbus eco-friendly and super quick, but the jet blue color, aerodynamic design and opulent interior make bus riding a new form of luxury transportation.
Negotiations with Dubai transportation officials are still underway, though, the RTA director of marketing and corporate communication, Peyman Younes Parham acknowledges the brilliance of the Superbus and comments, “I’m pretty sure there will be more discussion about this.”