Hong Kong commuters can expect to ride more on electric buses from later this year. New World First Bus and Citybus on Thursday announced the arrival of the first of five battery-powered buses they had ordered from mainland manufacturer BYD. The 11.6-metre-long single-deck K9R model bus is air conditioned and can travel about 250km after a full charge at the depot for about four hours, according to the bus companies. The vehicle has 31 seats and space for about 35 standing passengers. The bus operators ordered five such zero-emission buses from BYD last August using government funding. A spokesman for the bus companies said: “It is too early to say which route the electric buses will run on, but we are confident the first one can be in service by the end of this year.” The bus will undergo a series of tests before the remaining four are delivered, the spokesman said. BYD said more than 5,000 K9 model buses had been sold globally and were used in 35 countries and regions. New World First Bus and Citybus are jointly owned by Chow Tai Fook Enterprises and NWS Holdings. Hong Kong saw the introduction of the city’s first battery-powered electric bus in 2013 when Kowloon Motor Bus put it through trial runs. That bus was also a single decker from BYD. In Hong Kong, vehicle emissions are the major source of roadside air pollution. To promote the use of electric vehicles in Hong Kong, the first registration tax for electric cars is being waived until March 2017. Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying announced in his policy address last year that the government would promote the use of electric vehicles and would fund the purchase by franchised bus companies of 36 single-deck electric buses. This year, Leung announced plans to set up low-emission zones in Causeway Bay, Central and Mong Kok by the end of the year in which franchised bus companies will only be able to deploy low-emission buses.