Home » Hong Kong Will Be Building Its Own EV City Buses And They Look Like A Porta Potty Merged With A Dragon

Hong Kong Will Be Building Its Own EV City Buses And They Look Like A Porta Potty Merged With A Dragon

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Lots of cities all over the world are investing in electric city buses because it makes a hell of a lot of sense. A city bus is an ideal application for an EV, since city buses tend to have fixed routes, they travel at low speeds and often in traffic, they could really benefit their urban surroundings by being quieter, they sit around when not in service (perfect time for charging), and more. It’s perfect. So it’s hardly surprising that Hong Kong is looking to add electric buses to its fleets. What’s a bit more unusual is that Hong Kong is not just buying some off-the-shelf EV bus, the city is building its own, and, even more excitingly, the bus look pretty bonkers. Like, confusingly bonkers. Sort of like a cross between a dragon and a porta-potty, or a rainforest and a file cabinet, or maybe a cybernetic turtle? I’m really not sure, but I’m delighted Hong Kong is going to let that freak flag fly.

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(image: HK.ON.CC/Ruichang Motors)

One article, when machine-translated into English, states that people are saying the bus looks like “a king with legs” or “top ten big king with legs.” What does this mean? Isn’t a king with legs just a, you know, king? I tried looking up any Chinese idioms that might reference or explain this better, but so far haven’t found any.

Let’s just take a look at this thing, though, because it is pretty incredible. Based on the doors and some other details, it seems to be based on an Isuzu ELF chassis, but most of that body seems unique to these Hong Kong buses. These are technically known as “Jinlutong minibus” and is manufactured by Hong Kong-based automobile manufacturer Ruichang. The bodywork is pretty conventional from the roof area down, and is the color of a band-aid or a discarded prosthetic leg, but it’s the roof treatment that has most people baffled.

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It’s green and feels almost organic, like a bunch of huge palm fronds were stacked atop a bus to inspire the design, or perhaps a large salad was decanted onto a shoebox.

There are black stripe-like panels all over the roof area as well which could be solar panels, though it’s not clear. I’d suspect they are, based on how little actual integration they have into the design. A pantograph – one of those folding arm assemblies used for overhead-wire trolleycars – seems to be folded up on there as well, possibly to provide a means of charging, perhaps even while en route? Range, according to this story, can vary between about 40 miles and 120 miles, I supposed based on many, many factors, likely including variable battery sizes.

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(image: HK.ON.CC/Ruichang Motors)

The lower part of the bus also has some odd molded designs, with what looks sort of like insect antennae in the front and something that reminds me of old West saloon doors in the rear. Is that a cargo hold? Motor/battery access?

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It’s very strange, which I’m all for – all cities should have their own peculiar and idiosyncratic bus designs, if you ask me, and this strange-hatted EV bus seems to be filling that role very well. I can’t imagine the unusual roof has a specific aerodynamic function, as the likely speeds for the bus are too low to make that a significant factor.

The overall electric bus program has about $10 million allocated to it so far, with six bus manufacturers approved so far. Each of these particular buses is likely to cost between $230,000 and $300,000 or so, which seems like a deal for an electric bus with what looks like a magic beanstalk strapped to its roof.

 

(Thanks, Kevin!)

 

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PC
PC
1 year ago

Heres the reference to the kings with legs…cant be unseen

https://www.insider.com/ramen-isopod-14-legs-deep-sea-king-worm-woodlice-taiwan-2023-5

Harris K Telemacher
Harris K Telemacher
1 year ago

Isn’t a king with legs just a, you know, king?

Ableist.

Are you not entertained?
Are you not entertained?
1 year ago
Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
1 year ago

“king with legs” and “top ten big king with legs” are fantastic phrases.

Rafael
Rafael
1 year ago

It even has the same colour scheme as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle’s van!

Mikan
Mikan
1 year ago

The word machine-translated as ‘king with legs’ is actually referring to a giant isopod, a beastie that looks like this:

https://www.aquariumofpacific.org/images/made_new/images-olc-giant_isopod2_600_q85.jpg

Torque
Torque
1 year ago
Reply to  Mikan

That IS indeed a king with (many) legs

Parsko
Parsko
1 year ago

Is it supposed to rain inside?

Strangek
Strangek
1 year ago

My town just got some electric buses, but they look like boring ol’ regular buses. So lame!

Brandon Forbes
Brandon Forbes
1 year ago

The color of a discarded prosthetic leg?? What, they now change colors if you throw them out? Is this to let passers by know that the band-aid colored one is free game, but the cardboard colored one is still owned??

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 year ago
Reply to  Brandon Forbes

The discarded ones take on a sickly color because they don’t get sunscreen applied to them

Chronometric
Chronometric
1 year ago
Reply to  Brandon Forbes

Now we know what really happened to the Pao. Torch was traumatized by running over a prosthetic limb.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
1 year ago

The weird doors at the rear are where riders must store their chainsaws. It’s a safety regulation. No exceptions.

Last edited 1 year ago by Col Lingus
Wolfpack57
Wolfpack57
1 year ago

The roof looks like the glass roofs on train stations to me

Dodsworth
Dodsworth
1 year ago

That’s the second biggest Mormon cricket I’ve ever seen.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 year ago

So $10 million between 6 companies that is $1.75 million or 6 buses each. Not a big investment. But i wonder all this inane calling for metro transportation where in the USA it is only economically viable for 10% or less of the continent?

Citrus
Citrus
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Ten percent of the continent by space or by population? Because there’s a lot of empty space on the continent.

Every single city needs viable, practical public transportation.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
1 year ago
Reply to  Citrus

Every single city that actually deserves the title city needs public transportation.

I live in a bedroom community, called a city, of 10k people that’s literally 2 miles from city limits to city limits. Our public transportation is walking.

Citrus
Citrus
1 year ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

I might argue that establishing a public transportation system should be a requirement to getting a city designation. It might filter out all the places that are cities for the money but not in the level of service.

Because you’re right, that’s a town, and you could likely manage to get from one end to the other without a bus.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Not everything has to be economically viable. Otherwise a huge % of Americans wouldn’t get any mail.

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
1 year ago

Yeah, well nobody really NEEDS mail…ha ha

Torque
Torque
1 year ago
Reply to  Freelivin2713

Here’s a fun fact. The reason why in the US everyone gets mail (at home) is bc previously everyone went to their local post office to receive their mail. Home (mail) delivery service developed in the US during the Civil War bc of the public disruption caused by parents receiving & reacting to letters from US Govt. (And confederate govt.) Advising of the (war) death of their children

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
1 year ago

In the rear view, it almost looks like the curved parts with the solar panels (?) could be movable? Maybe they tilt to catch the sun?

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago

“a king with legs” or “top ten big king with legs.”

I’m gonna guess 蚱蜢 was lost in translation there.

SYKO Simmons
SYKO Simmons
1 year ago

They fucked up by not making their busses look like CatBus from Totoro! Lames

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
1 year ago
Reply to  SYKO Simmons

“They fucked up by not making their busses look like CatBus from Totoro! Lames”

That’s Japanese.

Nlpnt
Nlpnt
1 year ago

Almost certainly based not on the Isuzu Elf but on a Chinese version of an older-model Elf. Japan (and Chevy/GMC US) production hasn’t used those doors since sometime in the ’00s.

Gee See
Gee See
1 year ago
Reply to  Nlpnt

The doors are a feature of these buses. The drivers often open the doors for the passenger to get out even when the bus is still rolling, since there are often no fix stops, that’s saves milliseconds off the trip. Toyota Coasters the most popular chassis for these buses in HK also doesn’t come with those doors, but they are added on later.

With electric buses I guess they won’t be going at super high speeds like they are doing with ICE (they often go 80kph+).

Here are more history / chassis they had used https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Public_light_bus

Toyota Coasters are the most popular. DT’s brother probably have more to add.

There is a game called Mini Bus Racket.

You don’t get the complete HK experience until you get a ride in their red minibus.. the drivers go WOT all the time.

Last edited 1 year ago by Gee See
TheWombatQueen
TheWombatQueen
1 year ago
Reply to  Gee See

I think they might be referring to the driver door, the other ones look like normal bus doors

Andrew Wyman
Andrew Wyman
1 year ago

I mean, the folding charging arm seems like a no brainer if your city already has overhead lines.

David Frisby
David Frisby
1 year ago

A bus designed by a committee. A committee that obviously hate each other and don’t want to be in the same room….

Ricki
Ricki
1 year ago

No, sir, that’s the Ninja Turtles Party Wagon. I should know, my friend had one when I was a kid.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago
Reply to  Ricki

Beat me to it.
Cowabunga!
I hope some pranksters put pizza hub caps on one.

Last edited 1 year ago by Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Lockleaf
Lockleaf
1 year ago
Reply to  Ricki

This is exactly what I thought when I saw it. That is just an updated Party Wagon!

Taco Shackleford
Taco Shackleford
1 year ago

Adrian and the Bishop need to weigh in. The roof and body are clearly designed by 2 different people, and they may not know the other person even exists. It feels like the roof was designed for a bus shelter and was misread as bus roof so they just ran with it.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 year ago

> Adrian and the Bishop need to weigh in.

They took one look at it and died.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
1 year ago

Well, now we know where the “designer” who created the roof on the Mini Cooper Roadster hardtop is working these days.

RootWyrm
RootWyrm
1 year ago

The doors on the back are clearly so they can store nightsticks and grenade launchers, or when not in that mood, the bodies of anyone who commits the treasonous and seditious act of listening to Glory to Hong Kong.

Arch Duke Maxyenko
Arch Duke Maxyenko
1 year ago

The Beige Unicorn finally has a Beige Dragon rival

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