The first electric bus to operate in Cyprus was received by the municipality of Paphos on Wednesday morning at an official ceremony.
The bus, along with its charging station, was inaugurated by the mayor of Paphos, Phedonas Phedonos, at a small event held at the large car park close to the site of the now defunct police station in the centre of Paphos old town.
The vehicle cost around 260,000 euros and has a capacity of 22 people. There are also special provisions for people with disabilities. The first test routes will get underway immediately.
Phedonos said that the small bus would take up regular the routes in September, after the pilot runs are complete and will be of great use to the elderly that have to visit Paphos general hospital.
“The municipality of Paphos has essentially become the first municipality in Cyprus and the first public authority to acquire a small electric bus,” he said.
Paphos is conveying a strong message to other municipalities, government services and large private organisations to go green he said.
“In the next few years, they too should invest in and start using electric vehicles in their fleets.”
At present, such vehicles are charged by hooking up to EAC charging stations, but the aim is for Paphos is to be the first municipality to acquire a photo-voltaic charging station, so that “not a single litre of fuel is burned to move it, meaning that ‘bus traffic’ can aim to be totally green”.
The supply of the bus was made possible by Paphos’ participation in the ECOROUTS project, which is carried out within the framework of an EU Interreg programme for 2014-2020, with a total budget of €1,262,200 of which € 336,000 is earmarked for Paphos.
The municipalities of Heraklion, Chania and Aradippou are also participating in the project.
Once fully operational, the bus will run on special ‘green routes’ chosen to highlight the town’s cultural and historical monuments. It will be free to the public, locals and tourists alike. The bus will pass through the main streets and attractions of Paphos old town, as well as the archaeological sites of Kato Paphos.