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​Something significant happened in the streets of the City of Joburg on 1 November 2022. That’s when students from the University of Johannesburg boarded its newest electric bus. Professor Andre Nel, the Executive Director: Facilities Manager of University of Johannesburg, said: “We are in the process of running a shuttle EV (electric vehicle) bus at the Doornfontein campus between the main campus and four off-campus UJ-owned residences. 

“There are also two more EV buses to be delivered at the end of November that will be used on the UJ intercampus bus service,” said Prof Nel.

The University is seeking to replace the diesel bus service (Star Bus) with electric intercampus bus services. These buses are certainly not the standard bus designs, but “the cheapest and easily implemented solutions with highly electric mode battery recharged overnight at a charging station”, Prof Nel adds.

After a prolonged partnership with the Star Bus Services that transports about 18 000 students a day across all four campuses, UJ is deliberately reducing its carbon footprint with the lower-carbon solutions as part of the solar panel initiatives. 

“The solar panel project was established in 2018, awarded in 2019 with the objective to reduce carbon footprint and energy imported from City Power,” says Mbambeleli Masala University of Johannesburg Project Manager: Project& Utilities- Central Technical Services.

The innovation is a game changer for everyone. Students are congratulating the University on social media platforms for this achievement. 

“These buses will ensure excellent air quality for the University of Johannesburg community and Johannesburg residents and will also help the University in saving money,” says one of the students at University of Johannesburg Bunting campus.

Written by Getrude Mamabolo