BEIJING, July 30 (Xinhua) -- About 50 buses powered by Li-ion battery will be put into service for the Beijing Olympics next year, running a total distance of 10.4 kilometers for athletes and officials, according to a Beijing official.
The buses will be used in three loop lines in the Olympic village, the northern area of arena and the press village, according to Zheng Jichun, deputy director of Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission.
On request of the organizing committee of the Beijing Olympics which was committed to a green Olympics, vehicles using electric power are needed during the games.
All the 50 buses are solely powered by a kind of Li-ion battery which is different from various of existing hybrid electric vehicles, according to Sun Fengchun, an electric car expert with Beijing Institute of Technology.
The institute launched the designing and research work of the electric bus in 2000 and so far a manufactory of Beijing Public Transports has assembled seven model buses which have passed tests.
The designer has determined the key parts of the bus and the manufacturer has been ready for mass production, according to Sun.
The organizing committee has also permitted the running routes and bus models, following electric vehicle's debut in 1972 Munich Olympics when BMW provided two electric buses as the leading cars in athlete parade.
The 50 electric buses in Beijing Olympics would be the largest number of its kind in the games, Sun said.
The Beijing Organizing Committee has allocated an area of 5,000 square meters of recharge station for the buses and a parking area in southwest Beijing, Sun added.
The Li-ion power battery is used in vehicles with a higher energy density, comparatively smaller cubage and longer span for repetitive use. Moreover, its high efficiency and zero emission have made itself a major subject of battery research and development at home and abroad.
However, frequent accidents caused by Li-ion battery occurred in recent year, especially the blast of Li-ion battery in a laptop computer last year aroused public attention on the battery's safety.
Qi Lu, professor with Peking University, said the material of the Li-ion battery used in the Olympic buses is different and fully reliable for its safety.
Since 2001, two electric buses have been used in 121 route of Beijing bus for test operation and China's home made electric buses were also operating in World University Games in 2001 to take athletes, coaches and audiences.