Several months after its design was unveiled to the public, China's massive elevated bus concept is now real.
The 4.8-meter-high (15.75-foot) electric bus has its carriage elevated off the ground, allowing what appears to be two lanes of cars to pass under i
The Chinese government showed on Tuesday a prototype running on the roads in the port city of Qinhuangdao, that will be part of a pilot trial to run for the next few months.
If successful, the vehicle will add a mode of mass transit to many of China's congested cities. Since it's elevated, it is meant to make minimal disruption to road traffic, and comes without the additional cost of laying infrastructure that a subway system would require.
According to the official Xinhua news agency, the TEB-1 (Transit Elevated Bus) will be able to ferry up to 300 passengers at once, and measures 22 meters long by 7.8 meters wide. The goal is for it to eventually be able to travel at about 60-80 km/h.
Last month's design unveiling had noted a much larger capacity of 1,200 passengers — the equivalent of 40 busloads of people. It's likely that several buses will eventually be linked together to form a longer system.
The Chinese firm behind the bus, tebtech, claims that an impressive list of countries like Nigeria, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, France and Indonesia have already expressed interest in licensing a similar vehicle from it.