And Israel’s Finest IDF Soldiers Shall Ride Chinese Door-less Buses

The electric vehicles, costing NIS 100,000 a pop, will spare soldiers walking around particularly big bases.

Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen
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Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen

The Israeli army has bought vehicles specifically for transporting soldiers inside military bases – from China.

The transporter is a sort of low-slung bus without doors, powered by electricity, that can travel about 60 kilometers before it needs recharging.

The IDF Technology and Logistics Branch bought the “electric buses” for the Israel Air Force base at Hatzerim. Officers at the base had asked for a solution to improve “mobility” (as they called it in their original argot) of the soldiers around the base, which is particularly large.

The transporter can hold 7 passengers plus the driver, and can be driven by anyone holding a military driving license. It can also transport up to 500 kilos of equipment.

So how much did these electric carts cost? According to a senior officer at the Technology and Logistics Branch, about NIS 100,000 a pop. But the army feels investment in the “electric buses” will pay off in the long run, thanks to economizing on fuel and maintenance for the regular buses used to transport the soldiers.

“The investment will cover itself within five years. It represents a decrease in costs in the long run,” said a senior officer at the branch, explaining the purpose of the special bus.

However, it bears noting that unlike standard buses, these carts can only legally travel only within “operational areas” – that is, on bases within which such an area has been defined in advance by the Transport Ministry.

In the IDF this applies mainly to air force bases and equipment and logistics bases.

So far the army has bought 23 of these electrically-propelled “operational vehicles”. They will be handed over to the air force when testing is complete.

The new vehicles the IDF will use to transport troops in bases. Credit: szeagle-golfcar.en

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