In January 1996, Neoplan Polska launches the production of the first Polish bus in the tiny town of Bolechowo. The young company established by Solange and Krzysztof Olszewski completes an order for seventy two buses for the capital of the Wielkopolskie province.Two months later the first low-floor bus made by the company leaves the factory gates and it is this date that is considered the official birth of Solaris. 36 people work at the newly opened assembly line, and in the following year their number grows six times. In the first year of operation, a total of 56 vehicles is manufactured in Bolechowo. That is also when the first special purpose vehicle is built there – a mobile blood donor station for the Province Blood Donation Centre in Katowice. At the same time as making city buses, the company produces Neoplan tourist coaches. The belief in boundless possibilities and an enthusiasm typical of the 90s and the regenerating Polish economy will be a trademark of Solaris for many years.
The first rapid tram line is launched in Poznań, the capital of the province. No-one expects as yet that Solaris trams will run on the fastest tram route in Poland in a few years’ time. In 1997 Neoplan Polska expands rapidly; step by step the company takes over the whole domestic bus and coach market.The 5,000-square-metre factory premises allow for the simultaneous production of 13 vehicles. Low-floor buses are assembled by nearly 250 employees. Every day Neoplan buses leave the factory gates one by one, heading off in differing directions. The broad range of products offered by the company was also one of its chief competitive advantages. By the end of that year, having produced 163 vehicles, Neoplan Polska managed to claim a market share of nearly 30 percent. Weekly Polityka ranks the young enterprise of Solange and Krzysztof Olszewski among the five hundred best firms of 1997.
The Bolechowo factory celebrates the issue of the 500th vehicle. Sales exceed 200 million złoty. The company succeeds thanks to its superior technical possibilities and its excellent feel for the market. The Olszewskis may have come to Poland with experience from the West, but they are still “from here”.Meanwhile, having noticed that Neoplan buses are too sensitive for Polish roads, Krzysztof Olszewski’s pursues the construction of his own bus model. With the aid of several engineers he works on a new, solid, but also innovative vehicle that would face up to the difficult Polish road and climate conditions. Soon afterwards corrosion-resistant steel bodyframes are being produced in Środa Wielkopolska, where the Olszewskis have launched a new branch office, taking over the firm Tramad and its staff. Experienced welders are in great demand in the new department in charge of the construction of the bodyframes and body pannelling. That year the company launches the modernised, interim bus model K 4016, nicknamed Olibus. It is no longer a typical Neoplan, but it is not a Solaris yet either. Nearly 50 vehicles of the Urbino’s older brother leave the factory in Bolechowo. Company build a mobile beauty parlour for Oriflame. In a few years’ time Solaris will be renowned for being able to build any tailor-made bus whatsoever.
In May the company presents its first Solaris Urbino during the automotive trade fair Motor Show in Poznań. It is a world premiere for the innovative engineering design, developed and built from scratch in Bolechowo. The asymmetric front windscreen will later become a distinctive feature of all Solaris products.As Solange Olszewska notes many years later, my husband and I were looking for a name that would evoke positive connotations in all languages, that would be easy to pronounce and would be related to the future. We were unable to find anything suitable, until, among hundreds of words, we noticed “solaris” – a simple name, bringing to mind positive associations with sunshine and beginning with the same letter as my first name. The first Solaris Urbino 12 buses, sold still under the Neoplan Polska brand, made their way to Kielce. Meanwhile, articulated buses make their debut on streets of Gdynia. Airport buses make it onto the runway of Warsaw airport. Today Solaris vehicles carry passengers to terminals on 25 European airports, including those in Oslo, Madrid and Paris. The firm closes 1999 with a total of 170 sold vehicles. The Bolechowo facility provides jobs to 436 people.
The family of low-floor Solaris buses is growing: the four length types (9, 12, 15 and 18 metres) of Urbinos are a great hit and quickly become the most often bought city bus in the country. Next, the Urbino rolls onto European streets one year since its debut.The first export orders come from Ostrava in the Czech Republic which has stayed one of the most faithful clients of Solaris until this day. Also the city of Kosice in Slovakia opts for the 15-metre Urbino bus, ordering 20 vehicles in total. Meanwhile the Polish brand makes its debut in the EU, although Poland is not yet an EU member. Mid-December 2000 Solaris Urbino 12 rolls onto the streets of Berlin starting at the city hall in Spandau. Clients from abroad are cautious to begin with, but their interest has clearly been piqued. The number of implemented orders for city buses has already exceeded 700 and is still rising. The Olszewskis decide to expand the factory.
As the new millennium starts the firm faces huge changes. 40 years after the publication of Stanisław Lem’s flagship novel of the same title, the company changes the name of the company to Solaris Bus & Coach Sp. z o.o. Since then Solaris has been the only brand to roll out of the factory gates in Bolechowo.The company is also setting its first footsteps on the electromobility path, as it builds the first low-floor, environmental-friendly trolleybus Trollino 12. The prototype vehicle moving drawing power from overhead wires makes its debut in Gdynia. Within a decade Solaris turns into the leading producer of trolleybuses in the EU, supplying Trollinos of various lengths to 15 countries in Europe. The new millennium brings about two lucrative contracts, too: Solaris delivers 148 buses and two articulated trolleybuses for the capital of Latvia. Warsaw is turning into the firm’s biggest Polish client, as the capital’s yellow-red-coloured bus fleet is increased by as many as 165 Urbino under a new contract. In October, during the Busworld trade fair in Belgium, the company’s latest product has its premiere. The Solaris Vacanza 12 is one of the most comfortable coaches available on the market. It will later serve as basis for the construction of special mobile blood donation centres, among others for the Regional Blood Donation and Hemotherapy Centre in Katowice.
Solaris turns into a major player on the European bus market. A new, ten-metre vehicle is added to the Urbino bus family. Exports double and for the first time overseas orders exceed orders made in Poland. Bolechowo churns out its one-thousandth vehicle. This special 12-metre Solaris bus will go to Berlin.The number of supplied vehicles is rising constantly. Polish buses are used no only to carry passengers in the Czech Republic and Germany, but also in Estonia, Romania, Hungary and on Malta. Also Switzerland’s Winterthur decides to buy 10 Solaris vehicles. The latter sales deal is particularly prestigious for any car maker. Due to the extremely high requirements set to producers, this market is considered something of a litmus test in terms of quality. The Urbino 12 and 18 models are faring excellently in that country.
Solaris buses carry passengers in 11 countries. It is the first time that the low-floor buses roll out on the narrow streets of sunny Italy, as Bolechowo delivers 30 trolleybuses to Rome and 7 Urbinos to Salerno. The streak of successes continues, when Solaris’ tourist coach Vacanza wins the 2nd place in the prestigious competition “Coach of the Year”.A total of 264 vehicles roll off the assembly line in 2003, among them the first 15-metre trolleybus. It is the firm’s ever-growing, innovative portfolio and the incredible flexibility towards client needs with regard to length, engine and equipment, that turn Solaris into one of the leading producers of buses in Europe over the next years. Shortly before Poland’s accession to the EU the company’s headcount rises to nearly 600.
Solaris signs one of its biggest and most important contracts ever, as the public transport company in Berlin buys 260 buses. The first articulate buses appear in the German capital one year later. It is this tender that opens the door to Europe for the company. Its offer is growing continuously, supplemented by more and more innovative products.The manufacturer launches the production of a new, CNG-fuelled type of engine, next to the conventional internal combustion engine and electric trolleybuses. A more comfortable low-floor model of Urbinos, designed in particular for suburban routes, makes its debut, too: Solaris presents the completely new, modernised generation of Urbinos in October. The banner at the company’s trade fair stand reads Made in Poland. Made for Europe. It is this model that leads to the company’s global success and its popularity worldwide. The Urbino wins the second place at the most important event in the industry, the Bus of the Year competition.
More buses leave the Bolechowo factory premises day after day. The large order for Berlin has enticed nearly thirty new customers from Germany. The Urbino turns out to be a reliable, modern vehicle with an off-beat design. Western public transport operators no longer doubt it is worth to invest in Polish technology.The Polish low-floor buses make it to cities across Europe – Switzerland, Sweden, France, Estonia and the Czech Republic. On July 1, the company becomes a joint-stock company, although it does not list its shares on the stock market. However, it does give the company logo, and the Dachshund symbol, a makeover. The meteoric success and impressive achievements of the Polish producer are becoming quite evident. Solaris receives an Economic Award in the Exporter Category from the Polish President. Solange Olszewska is awarded the “Oscar of the bus industry” – the prestigious title of “Bus Builder of the Year”. By now, the company’s staff has increased to over 1000 people.
Solaris celebrates its tenth anniversary. The firm which started the low-floor revolution in Poland does not intend to slow down; quite the contrary, as 2006 is set to be the beginning of a new era of innovation. During the IAA trade fair Solaris shows its articulated hybrid bus Solaris Urbino Hybrid to the world, accurately responding to the needs of contemporary cities.That is how Solaris becomes the first producer in Europe of serially produced hybrid system buses. Krzysztof Olszewski utters his now famous words “Diesel has died. Long live electricity!” during the debut of the Urbino 18 Hybrid. Over the next years over 200 of those environmental-friendly vehicles make it onto the roads of 12 European states. However, the constantly growing order volumes and staff requires more work space. The old plant is becoming too cramped. So, in 2006 the company inaugurates a completely new production hall which quickly turns into the centre of the company’s bus and coach life, as well as the place of birth of the whole Urbino family. It is also the year in which Solaris presents its smallest, 8.6-metre bus to the public. The small bus is quite popular among clients carrying passengers on winding mountain roads or narrow city-centre streets. Focusing on the safety of passengers and drivers, the firm launches a new programme titled Safe Driver.
The expansion of the Solaris on European markets continues. Urbino vehicles run on streets of 17 states of the old continent – and in 11 capitals no less. In Germany Solaris is now the biggest foreign supplier of city buses.Concurrently to intensified production efforts, constructors in Bolechowo are trying their first steps on the visionary path set out by Krzysztof Olszewski, as they design new models of the Urbino family. In the same year the company celebrates the launch of the low-entry CNG-powered buses. This bus is particularly popular in Scandinavian countries. Over 700 vehicles leave the factory gates in Bolechowo, and nearly 400 of them make their way across the border. Consulting firm Ernst & Young acknowledges Solaris Bus & Coach as the producing “Enterprise of the Year”.
Urbino venture forth, onto an exotic journey out of Europe to the United Arab Emirates. The gigantic contract signed with Dubai the previous year, for 225 vehicles, wins the company fame all across Europe, stirring a lot of media attention on the Polish market, too.But Solaris is about to celebrate yet another success: even as its buses make their way by ship to one of the most luxurious and modern metropolises of the world, Solaris wins its biggest ever order for 320 buses for a transport business from Athens. The first group of vehicles gets shipped to Greece only several months after the contract was inked. But there is more to come, as the company is commissioned to supply 150 of its low-floor buses to Warsaw. While the world is scrambling in face of the biggest financial crisis of the second half of the 20th century, Solaris manages to top the number of 1000 vehicles delivered in one year. Krzysztof Olszewski is hailed “King of Buses”.
During the International Railway Trade Fair TRAKO in Gdańsk, Solaris caused quite the sensation, presenting its first Tramino tram. It is the next step towards electromobility. Green public transport is quickly becoming the apple of the company’s eye and it is the development of this very segment that the manufacturer devotes more and more attention to.A few months after the premiere, Solaris wins a tender for the supply of 45 trams for nearby Poznań. Also on other fields does the company set new challenges, as it shows a completely new bus type, the intercity InterUrbino, and as it complements the range of green-power vehicles with a 12-metre hybrid model. European journalists write that no other in Europe can equal the Polish manufacturer in terms of innovation and the speed of development of its portfolio. The number of vehicles supplied by Solaris exceeds five thousand, while buses with the green Dachshund logo fill up the map of Europe. Now Solaris is present on 21 markets.
Solaris makes its debut in the Indian Ocean region; the volcanic island La Reunion near Madagascar is so far the most exotic destination for the low-floor buses from Bolechowo. After 14 years the Urbino comes to the Balkans and Spain. That year, the company supplies 1100 colourful buses of various lenghts and propelling systems, full of innovative solutions, to over 100 clients.A total of 300 vehicles is delivered to Scandinavian markets. Solaris engineers show the world the next generation hybrid, however, in order to set new trends in public transport, one has to keep looking forward. The designers of Solaris are already working on a new, electrically powered bus. That is also how the low-floor trams the firm is soon to supply to home town Poznań will be propelled. Solaris is building yet another new, state-of-the-art production plant. Meanwhile the serial production of the Tramino begins in Środa Wielkopolska.
While celebrating its 15th anniversary, Solaris launches its first fully electric bus on the European market. Presenting its emission-free Urbino electric, the company boldly challenges other producers and it is now considered one of the most pioneering and creative brands in the industry in Europe.It is not without reason that the owners of the company once again are awarded by the President of Poland for their innovative ideas. That year Solange Olszewska is named one of the 100 most influential women of the business world and entrepreneur sector by German financial daily “Handelsblatt”. While the Tramino sets off for its first round in Poznań, Solaris wins also its first export order for trams, as the German city of Jena orders 5 rail vehicles.
One of the most important football events in the world takes place in Poznań in 2012. Thousands of football fans are carried across the city in the noiseless, environmental-friendly Urbino 8.9 electric. Covered in face grass, the vehicle expertly blends into the crazy atmosphere of the Euro 2012 cup. It is Solaris’ most technologically advanced vehicle.Exactly one year after presenting the pilot model to the world, the company shows off its 12-metre version of the bus which promptly wins a buyer from Braunschweig. German automotive industry magazine busplaner calls the vehicle the “innovation of the year”. That year also the number of Solaris buses, which now can be found in 25 countries, exceeds 9,000 vehicles. The tram division is faring just as well: the company has secured two large orders for the supply of 33 trams to Braunschweig and Olsztyn. These dynamic changes induce the firm to freshen up the logo and the Dachshund mascot. The New York Times features an article on Poland which managed the global financial crisis almost unharmed. One of the chief characters of this impressive success is not other than Solaris.
Strings of buses are leaving the plant in Bolechowo by now, and go to no less than 19 countries that year. In March the company signs a contract with Belgrade for the supply of 200 articulated buses and several months later all ordered vehicles are already driving around the capital of Serbia.300 trolleybuses and buses are ordered by Riga. Meanwhile the company carries out orders for buyers in Austria, France, Belgium, Bulgaria, Switzerland… Solaris also secures its first ever deal in Turkey, to supply 100 of its 18-metre buses. The low-floor vehicles roll out on the streets of Izmir several months later. In the meantime Munich welcomes the 2000th bus delivered for the German market, while the first rail vehicles of Solaris in Germany have started carrying passengers in Jena. The motto of the official presentation of the first tram in Goethe’s homeland is “Towards future”. The firm is currently working on the next generation of Urbinos.
The construction and look of the new Solaris Urbino is kept secret until the world premiere during the IAA trade fair in Hannover. The bus garners excellent reviews among journalists and experts of the automotive industry. Its rebellious, futuristic design attracts attention and so do the technical solutions.Solaris signs its first orders for the new bus with German buyers even before the premiere. Two months later a transportation company from Hannover orders an electric bus of the new generation. At the same time the firm keeps breaking delivery records: the eleven-thousandth bus passes through the factory gate. Electric buses with various charging systems drive around in Germany and Sweden and more European cities sign contracts for emission-free and noiseless Urbino electric vehicles. More innovative and impressive ideas are being conceived in the Technical Office. The buses supplied to Hamburg measure nearly 19 metres in length and are equipped with hydrogen fuel cells that increase the travel range. This extraordinary vehicle soon wins the Sustainable Development prize of the magazine “busplaner”. In the opinion poll “People of Freedom” organised by TVN and Gazeta Wyborcza daily Poles vote for Solange and Krzysztof Olszewski; the owners of Solaris win the poll in the business category. They also become a symbol of Polish success and entrepreneurial spirit.
The family of the new Solaris is proliferating. New low-entry and electric models are added to the range of vehicles presented in the previous year, and these newcomers have their premiere during the Busworld fair in Belgian town Kortrijk. New Urbino models are slowly filling up the production plant which has just been enlarged, as the company only recently completed the extension of the plant.The new production area will provide enough space for the two Solaris generations that are being produced concurrently and that leave the plant one after the other heading off to distant corners of the world. Green-silver Traminos scurry along the railway tracks in Olsztyn, as railway transport returns to the city after fifty years. The firm secures an extremely important deal for the delivery of 41 trams to Leipzig. The modern design of the new Urbino and Tramino is being appreciated in a series of competitions Europe-wide. More than 14,000 buses and trams of all colours of the rainbow have exited the factory in Bolechowo over the past twenty years. Modern, eye-catching, distinctive diesel buses and trolleybuses, gas-powered vehicles, electric and hybrid buses are currently carrying passengers in 30 countries on different continents around the world. And this is only the beginning of the history of a firm fuelled by enthusiasm.
Solaris celebrates its grand 20th anniversary. At the same time the new Solaris Urbino 12 electric wins the prestigious BUS OF THE YEAR award. This distinction sums up perfectly two decades of work and intense efforts towards developing public transport and electromobility.The top prize of the automotive industry was awarded to Solaris by an international team of journalists representing 20 countries. The official handing over of the statue took place during the IAA fair in Hanover. The 20th anniversary of the first city bus rolling off the assembly line in Bolechowo was celebrated in many ways, but one of the chief items on the celebration agenda was a festive gala held for all employees in acknowledgement of the mutual efforts. In 2016 Solaris produces a total of 1300 vehicles with the green dachshund logo, which represents warmth and the joy of creation; the vehicles can be found in 30 countries around the globe. The company is setting its first steps on another continent - this time the Solaris logo will be seen in Africa, on the streets of Marrakesh.
Solaris delivers its hundredth electric bus to the client. The zero-emission Buses ride in 9 countries in Europe and have already covered a total distance of more than 4 million kilometers. Among others, the Polish manufacturer has won the prestigious 2017 EBUS Award for a long term contribution in the development in emission free public transportation, confirming its leading position on the European market.With growing interest in battery-driven buses abroad, the demand for them is also growing in Poland, where Solaris completed its biggest order in the segment by providing Jaworzno with 22 electric vehicles. The company has responded to market‘s demand by introducing a new articulated Urbino 18 electric in its offer, which was officially presented for the first time at the Busworld in Kortrijk. In 2017 the record number of vehicles - nearly 1400, have left the factory in Bolechowo near Poznań, supporting the fleets of many cities in e.g. Poland, France, the Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, Slovakia, as well as in Italy, Germany or Luxembourg. With the delivery for the Dutch public transport operator Conexxion AML, Solaris conquers another market. In addition to the product portfolio, the company develops its services area by opening a new spare parts distribution center in Jasin near Poznań in September. Modern Solaris Logistics Center improves the process of order fulfillment and increases the level of after sales customer service.
The European expansion of Solaris vehicles is gaining momentum. By signing the largest contracts in its history, the company has established itself as a leader in the field of production of trolleybuses as well as the leading manufacturer of electric buses. With a vision of further development, also on non-European markets, Solaris joins the Spanish CAF group.During 22 years of its operation, the company have manufactured over 17,000 vehicles, dynamically developing its eco-friendly solutions for public transportation. In barely eight years since the début of its first electric bus, Solaris delivers and receives orders for nearly 400 vehicles from customers in sixteen countries. The battery-driven Urbino electric buses conquer new markets, i.e. Belgium and Luxemburg. In 2018 producer unveils its product novelty – the Urbino 12 LE lite hybrid – light, low-entry, low-emission hybrid bus. The company is also repeatedly awarded for its efforts pertaining to corporate social responsibility
We will remember 2019 as a year of large contracts. Solaris secures i.a. the biggest commission in Poland for 130 articulated Solaris Urbino 18 electric for operator MZA in Warsaw, a framework contract for the supply of 250 Solaris Urbino 12 electric buses for ATM in Milan, and commission for 90 Solaris Urbino 12 electric for BVG in Berlin.Taking into account both these huge contracts, as well as the many smaller ones, the producer sold that year a record number of vehicles: 1487 units. That is the best result ever achieved by the company in its 23 years of operation. The products of our brand are currently present in over 750 cities in 32 countries. Since the company started operations, it has delivered nearly 19,000 vehicles to customers. An increasing rate of the manufactured vehicles are those with alternative drivelines: in 2019 they made up already 40%. Responding to the growing needs of the market for low and zero-emission vehicles, the company is continuously developing its portfolio of products in this segment. At the Global Public Transport Summit in Stockholm, we presented the new generation of our hydrogen-powered bus Solaris Urbino 12 hydrogen. What is more, 2019 was the year of the official première of the new platform for bi-articulated vehicles – the Solaris Trollino 24 MetroStyle. The Technical Office is working on more novel technologies, such as the latest battery solution Solaris High Energy+, the state-of-the-art fleet management system eSConnect and the modern advanced driver-assistance systems ADAS.
The 20,000th bus rolls out of the Solaris factory gates. The jubilee Solaris vehicle is an Urbino 18 electric, the last vehicle of an order for Warsaw’s carrier MZA Warszawa numbering 130 e-buses. The company conquers the European market for zero-emission electric buses. During an online launch – the first ever in the company’s history – organised in an interactive format, the manufacturer unveils the latest model in its offering, the Solaris Urbino 15 LE electric bus.Interest in electric buses continues to grow. This is reflected in the increasing number of orders that Solaris lands around Europe. The company sets record sales for electric buses: 182% more vehicles than in the previous year. The most prominent contracts include one of the largest orders for electric vehicles in Europe and the manufacturer’s largest one for Germany so far, i.e. 90 Urbino electric units making their way to Berlin. Moreover, the Milanese operator ATM places an order for another 100 Urbino 12 electric buses. The bus maker conquers the exponentially growing Polish market for electric buses. The fleet of Solaris e-buses in Poland approaches 500 vehicles. Solaris also signs a contract for the delivery of the first school e-buses in Poland.
Solaris starts 2021 by celebrating the company’s 25th anniversary. The jubilee year is the year of hydrogen. Solaris joins the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance and signs a Letter of Intent to establish the Wielkopolska Hydrogen Valley. The manufacturer also lands numerous contracts for Urbino 12 hydrogen vehicles and launches the Urbino 9 LE electric bus.In its 25th year of operation, Solaris continues to promote sustainable development and to develop its zero-emission offering. The company’s first Sustainability Report is drawn up, and it is awarded a prize for best debut at the Sustainability Reports competition. The launch of the Urbino 9 LE electric bus is accompanied by the online #SolarisTalks 2021 conference devoted to e-mobility. The Solaris Urbino 15 LE electric is awarded the “Sustainability Award 2021” in the “Electric bus” category, handed out by German trade magazine “busplaner”. The manufacturer continues to expand its market reach in Europe, by signing a contract with Danish carrier AarBus for the delivery of the first ever Solaris e-buses to grace the Danish market. The bus maker also receives more orders for hydrogen buses. Austrian carrier ÖBB Postbus opts for Solaris to supply up to 162 buses, including up to 40 hydrogen buses, and Konin is the first Polish city to welcome a hydrogen bus to its fleet. Solaris also launches its expert web portal called “eCity powered by Solaris”.
Solaris signs a contract for its 2000th e-bus and enters new markets by landing its first order in Montenegro. This is also the year of the Urbino 18 hydrogen bus’s unveiling and of the inauguration of new investments at the company’s premises, namely the Warehouse Hall and an innovative Charging Park for electric vehicles.Solaris signs a contract for its 2000th e-bus and is ranked first in 2021 in the European market for zero-emission buses, claiming a market share of 15.1%. The company wins a raft of new orders: 183 Urbino 18 electric vehicles will make their way to the capital of Norway, and 60 Solaris electric buses will go to Spain. Solaris wins a tender in a new market, for the delivery of an Urbino 12 mild hybrid bus to the Port of Bar, the chief seaport in Montenegro. What is more, the manufacturer signs a contract with carrier JGSP Novi Sad for the delivery of the first Solaris electric buses to be deployed in Serbia. The bus maker unveils the latest product in the company’s zero-emission offering, the Urbino 18 hydrogen bus, and combines the launch with e-mobility talks at the #SolarisTalks 2022 conference with participants from a host of different countries. The Solaris team receives the Polish Project Excellence Award 2022 in the New Technologies, Science and Innovations category for the way it implemented the Urbino 9 LE electric project. The bus model itself receives the prestigious busplaner Innovation Award 2022 in the category “Intercity Bus”. The company also launches the educational CityMission by Solaris CSR project. The project’s first edition is designed for pupils in grades 1 to 3 of primary school and aims to promote sustainable public transport among children.
The company completes a special commission – a bus that is also a mobile blood donor station for the Province Blood Donation Centre in Katowice.
Neoplan Polska is the sole domestic producer of low-floor city buses of four length types: 10, 12, 15 and 18 metres.
Neoplan Polska manufactures 225 busses, including 163 city buses, which accounts for nearly 40 percent of the Polish low-floor bus market.
A modernised, interim model of the bus k4016 td, called Olibus, is designed. No longer a Neoplan, the bus is not a Solaris either – yet.
Manufacture of the biggest (18-metre long) low-floor articulated Neoplan N 4021, taking 175 passengers on board. The bus is presented during the 2nd Public Transport Show in Łódź.
Poland-wide and world premiere for the Solaris Urbino family of low-floor city buses. The bodyframes are made completely out of corrosion-resistant steel. The asymmetric front windscreen of the bus presented at this point will later become the distinctiv
Neoplan Polska turns into one of the leaders of the Polish market of city buses (ranked 2nd, with a market share of 25.7%) and tourist coaches (ranked 1st – 40.5% share). 106 city buses and 64 tourist coaches have been sold so far.
Premiere of the Solaris Urbino bus family – lengths of 9, 12, 15 and 18 metres – at the V Łódź Public Transport Show.
Two Urbino 12 buses end up in Berlin – the first city buses to have been produced, and designed, in Poland, and purchased by a buyer from the European Union.
The one hundredth Solaris Urbino 15, purchased by Warsaw-based transport firm Rapid, rolls off the assembly line at the Neoplan Polska factory.
Construction of low-floor, environmental-friendly trolleybus Trollino 12: drawing power from overhead wires, the prototype vehicle makes its debut in Gdynia. Within a decade Solaris will become the leading producer of trolleybuses in the EU, supplying Tro
The Solaris Vacanza 12 tourist coach, one of the most comfortable buses then available on the market, has its world and domestic premiere.
Warsaw is turning into the biggest Polish client, as transport operator MZA Warszawa expands its yellow-red-coloured bus fleet by another 165 Urbinos under a new contract.
Signing of a long-term contract with municipal authorities of Riga (Rigas-Satiksme SIA) for the supply of 148 buses and 2 articulated trolleybuses.
Berlin gets Solaris Urbino 12 and Urbino 18 buses; one of these is the thousandth vehicle manufactured in Bolechowo.
Special bus Solaris Vacanza bus is made to order for the Regional Blood Donation and Hemotherapy Centre in Katowice.
Premiere of the Solaris Trollino 15 – the first 15-metre-trolleybus in the world (Ostrava, Czech Republic)
13-metre tourist coach version of the Solaris Vacanza has its world premiere at the trade fair in Kortrijk.
The thousandth vehicle is churned out in Bolechowo and sold in Poland, to public transport operator MPK Legnica. Solaris Urbino 10 emerges as the jubilee model.
The company wins an order for 260 buses for BVG. It is the biggest tender of its kind in Europe in 2004. Supplies are slated to start in 2005.
World premiere of city bus Solaris Urbino III at IAA show in Hannover. The banner at the fair stand reads: Made in Poland. Made for Europe
Polish and world premiere of CNG-fuelled Solaris Urbino CNG and of the Solaris Urbino Low Entry bus at the TRANSEXPO trade fair in Kielce.
The thousandth Solaris Urbino ends up in Cracow, supplied as part of a larger order for 50 vehicles made by public operator MPK in Cracow.
Solaris awarded Gold Medal at the International Public City Transport Exhibition TRANSEXPO in Kielce for the “way of using trade fairs as a means to promote the company”.
First Urbino 18 vehicles handed over under contract for the supply of 260 articulated buses to the public transport operator of Berlin.
One hundredth Solaris on the Czech market; the Czech Republic was the first export market for Solaris Bus & Coach. It is Poland’s southern neighbour which, in 2000, received the company’s first exported bus – the Solaris Urbino 15 for the city of Ostrava.
Warsaw’s public operator MZA gets first Solaris Urbino 18 buses – the green dachshund wins the affection of new fans.
2005 starts off with an output capacity of 2 buses daily, by the end of that year output has climbed to 3.3 vehicles/day.
Solaris Bus & Coach organises a Tourist Coach Exchange. The event serves Polish coach carriers as a place of commercial exchange and a forum for the exchange of information and experience.
„Builder of the Year” title awarded to Solange Olszewska by the international jury in at trade fair Busworld in Belgian town Kortijk, for her personal contribution to the development of the bus sector.
Inauguration of new production hall in Bolechowo. Up until now the investor has released 13,500 square meters of floorspace for use. By 2007 the factory will have grown by another 10,000 square metres.
Debut of Solaris Urbino 18 Hybrid buses at the IAA trade fair in Hannover. Solaris is becoming Europe’s first producer of serially produced hybrid-system buses. Krzysztof Olszewski calls out his now famous words Diesel has died. Long live electricity! dur
Premiere of the Solaris Alpino 8.6 bus at the International Public City Transport Exhibition TRANSEXPO in Kielce.
Premiere of Solaris Urbino 18 buses complying with EEV exhaust emission standards – at IAA trade fair in Hannover. The bus was bought during the trade fair by the city of Bremen.
The first competition for best driver of Solaris Vacanza coaches is held on the racetrack of the Polish Automobile Union in Sochaczew.
The ”Save Driver” programme, a joint initiative of Solaris Bus & Coach and the Polish Automobile Association (PZA), gets launched. The World Bank is a programme partner, and the event is held under the patronage of the Transport and Construction Ministry,
Award in the “Advancement” category of the Best of European Business competition, held by Roland Berger Strategy consultants and international TV news station CNN.
First hybrid bus – the Solaris Urbino 18 Hybrid, ordered by group Eurobus - put into service in Switzerland.
In collaboration with the Dubai representations Al Ghurair & Solaris Middle East Bus Trading, Solaris wins a tender for the delivery of 225 buses for the Dubai Roads & Transport Authority. Deliveries will be carried out in 2008. The order encompasses 150
Signing of contract for the supply of 320 vehicles, including 220 Alpino and 100 Urbino 18 buses, for Athens’ bus company E.THE.L – it is the biggest tender won by Solaris in terms of the bus number.
Transfer of first buses to Athens, under the biggest ever contract landed by Solaris. The whole delivery is completed in 2009.
Representatives of Poznań City Transport (MPK) signs a contract with Solaris for the purchase of a hybrid engine bus – the Solaris Urbino 18 Hybrid. It will be the first public transport vehicle in Poland with such a novel propulsion syst
At the InnoTrans trade fair Solaris presents its first ever tram design which soon is turned into reality, when the tram rolls out onto the rail tracks in 2009.
Krzysztof Olszewski appointed chairman of the Supervisory Board of Solaris. Solange Olszewska takes on the post of CEO.
Premiere of modern and comfortable intercity Solaris InterUrbino 12 buses at the TRANSEXPO trade fair in Kielce.
Premiere of Solaris Urbino 12 Hybrid buses at the Busworld exhibition in Kortrijk. This means that the range of the most environmentally-friendly products gets complemented.
Solaris sells trams for the first time. Poznań City Transport (MPK) determines outcome of tender for 40 low-floor buses. Solaris’ bid is the most advantageous.
Five-thousandth bus leaves the Solaris Bus & Coach factory in Bolechowo near Poznań. The modern, low-floor city bus Solaris Urbino 12 was passed on to a customer from Koziegłowy near Poznań.
Solaris in the Indian Ocean. Until now the furthest Solaris buses have ever ventured from Bolechowo near Poznań, was Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, but things are changing now. Six Urbino buses are joining the fleet of a bus operator on the island of
A new production facility in Środa Wielkopolska producing Solaris Tramino tram bodyframes launches operation.
Launch of serial production of Solaris Urbino 15 LE CNG vehicles: the CNG-fuelled bus, recently set for serial production, is quickly becoming a hit on Scandinavian markets, where about 300 of those buses are sold in 2010 alone.
Krzysztof Olszewski is awarded the Kisiel Prize by the award chapter of weekly Wprost in the Entrepreneur category.
Solaris Urbino 18 Hybrid, with its serial hybrid system, is awarded the Gold Medal at the International Public City Transport Exhibition TRANSEXPO 2010 in Kielce.
Premiere of Solaris URbino 8.9 electric buses at the International Public City Transport Exhibition TRANSEXPO in Kielce. Solaris Urbino electric is the first bus in Poland to be fuelled solely with electricity stored inside the vehicle.
On 22 March Solaris celebrates its 15th anniversary! Production of buses began in Bolechowo 15 years earlier.
The first of the serially produced trams Solaris Tramino Poznań was presented to municipal authorities in May, to roll out onto the streets shortly afterwards, in July.
Solaris signs deal for the supply of 4 Tramino trams to the German city of Jena. It is the first export contract for Solaris for the delivery of light rail vehicles.
Solaris consistently focuses on raising drivers’ qualifications. Nearly 100 employees of the public transport operator MPK in Łódź take part in the latest edition of training programme ”Safe Driver”.
Economic Award of the President of Poland, in the category Innovation. It is the second time that Solaris receives this exceptional distinction. Previously the company received the award in the category Exporter.
Readers of the magazine busplaner name the Solaris Urbino 18 Hybrid from Vossloh Kiepe the innovation of the year 2011.
Premiere of Solaris Urbino 18.75, the so far longest vehicle on sale of the Bolechowo-based producer.
Solaris Tramino is honoured with the Top Design award in the category ”Automotive Industry and Public Transport”, awarded within the framework of the Arena Design trade fair taking place from 5-8 March.
Electric bus of the Solaris brand acknowledged as ”Innovation of the Year 2012” in the category Public Transport, by readers of German sector news magazine Busplaner.
Solaris Urbino 12 electric is acknowledged as best product in the category “Buses” by the jury of the International Public City Transport Exhibition TRANSEXPO 2012 in Kielce.
The electric Solaris was distinguished by the chapter of EBUS contest, which awarded the bus’ first place in the category “Electric buses”. The award was provided by the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV) and insurance company DEVK, under the
Two-thousandth Solaris on German market: it is one of ten passenger trailer buses, handed over to Munich-based operator MVG.
Official premiere of Solaris Tramino Jena – first five Polish trams to have ever been delivered to the German market.
Solaris lands its first order on the Turkish market – 100 low-floor buses of the Solaris Urbino 18 type are going to Izmir.
The Solaris Urbino 8.9 LE electric rolls out on the streets of Austrian city Klagenfurt – it is the first contract of Solaris for the delivery of emission-free battery buses completed by Solaris.
First Urbino 18.75 – the longest among all Solaris bus models – to go to a customer in German city of Hagen.
Solaris secures an order for 200 low-floor buses. It is a significant step forward for the Polish manufacturer on the Serbian market.
Poland’s president Bronisław Komorowski awards the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland to Solange and Krzysztof Olszewscy. The distinction is awarded for the couple’s contribution to the development of economic cooperation betwe
The Solaris Urbino 12 electric, with an automatic system for conductive fast charging, mounted on the roof, is awarded the Gold Medal of the trade fair TRANSEXPO in Kielce in the “Bus” category.
At the International Railway Trade Fair TRAKO in Gdańsk, the Tramino Jena is awarded the Medal of the Association of Polish Electrical Engineers, thus honouring "extraordinary achievements by Polish engineers and technicians".
The Tramino Jena was awarded the Jan Podoski’s prize by the Polish City Transport Chamber (IGKM), at the International Railway Trade Fair TRAKO in Gdańsk.
Premiere of Solaris Tramino in Braunschweig. Braunschweiger Verkehrs GmbH orders a total of 18 low-floor trams.
Solange and Krzysztof Olszewscy, founders and owner of Solaris Bus & Coach, are among the winners of the poll "People of Freedom".
Castellón de la Plana chooses Solaris trolleybuses. The 12-metre vehicles in their unique MetroStyle design are the very first Trollino to come to Spain.
10 000 Solaris buses sold. The jubilee bus, an Urbino 12 electric, is delivered to German customer Rheinbahn in Düsseldorf.
The company widens its range of emission-free electric buses. A Solaris Urbino 12 electric bus with inductive charging system drives out onto the streets of Braunschweig.
The very first articulated low-floor trolleybuses in Poland, the Solaris Trollino 18, are delivered to Lublin, to operator Lublin City Transport MPK.
500 Solaris buses in the Czech Republic. The exceptional spot of 500th vehicle goes to a low-floor Urbino 18 for the operator Brno City Transport.
Work starts on an expansion to the Bolechowo plant. The 45-million złoty investment covers among others an increase in the production area by 7,500 m2.
The first electric buses in Poland: Ostrołęka decides to take two Solaris Urbino 8.9 LE electric and thus introduces electric mobility to the city transport.
Tramino trams start regular operation in Olsztyn. After a break of 50 years rail city transport returns to the capital of the Warmia and Mazury region.
The first new Solaris gets delivered. The buyer is Josef Ettenhuber GmbH which receives its Urbino on 12 July.
The 1000th Trollino trolleybus – of the Trollino 18 MetroStryle type – is delivered to a customer in Salzburg.
The 1001st Trollino is delivered to Gdynia, the same city that bought the first Solaris Trollino ever to be made.
In the last days of 2015 the company signs a contract for the delivery of 110 buses for Israel. The order covers Urbino city buses, as well as InterUrbino intercity buses.
First new Solaris buses in Poland. The state-of-the art Urbino 12 was delivered to Wejherowo. A transport operator in Grudziądz receives two identical vehicles almost concurrently.
Solaris and Leipzig City Transport (LVB) sign contract for delivery of 41 Tramino trams to Leipzig. It is the third order for light rail vehicles of the Polish producer commissioned by a German customer.
500th Solaris arrives in Italy. The jubilee vehicle is an Urbino 12 low-floor bus for a city operator in Novara. It is also the first new Solaris on the Italian market altogether.
Solaris Urbino 12 electric buses take up passenger service in Warsaw. Warsaw City Transport purchased 10 all-electric Solaris buses.
The new Solaris Urbino wins the highly prestigious iF DESIGN AWARD 2015. The winning designs were selected by professionals from over twenty countries.
The new Solaris Urbino receives the TOP Design Award following a competition organised during the ‘arena DESIGN’ exhibition in Poznań.
Solaris Tramino Braunschweig receives the prestigious Red Dot Award 2015, following one of the most opinion-forming international competitions to-day. The Red Dot is tantamount to a quality certificate in design.
The editorial team of widely-read monthly “Forbes” awards Milestones to the most illustrious public figures and to authors of the great market successes. Solange Olszewska is awarded in the category “business”.
During the IAA fair in Hanover, the new Solaris Urbino 12 electric received the “Bus of the Year 2017” statuette for best city bus of the year 2017.
On 22 March 2016 Solaris Bus & Coach commences celebrating its 20th anniversary, holding numerous events up to the end of the calendar year.
Together with a group of Polish enterprises and technical universities, Solaris signs a letter of intent with the purpose of developing electromobility, titled “Polish Electric Bus – supply chain for e-mobility”.
Solaris wins its biggest ever contract for the supply of 300 intercity buses InterUrbino to the operator Cotral, a Rome-based regional transport business.
Solaris delivers its hundredth electric bus to the client, The zero-emission Buses ride in 9 countries in Europe and have already covered a total distance of more than 4 million kilometers.
The Solaris electric buses win another award, this time it is the EBUS Award 2017, for a long term contribution in the development in emission free public transportation.
Solaris presents the new articulated Urbino 18 electric for the first time at the Busworld in Kortrijk.
With the delivery for operators from Luxembourg and the Netherlands, Solaris conquers new markets and is currently present in 32 countries.
The Tramino-trams already carry passengers in Leipzig. By the end of the year 10 vehicles out of 41 ordered were delivered.
Solaris signs record deals for the delivery of its Trollino and empowers the position as an european leader of trolleybus production.
Unique on a global scale electric buses designed as a blood donation center leave the factory in Bolechowo.
A whole 40% of the 1487 produced buses are vehicles with alternative drivelines (electric, hybrid, trolleybuses).
Première of the Solaris Urbino 12 hydrogen showcased at the Global Public Transport Summit UITP in Stockholm.
Italy’s Bolzano is the first city to purchase hydrogen buses offered by the producer. 12 Solaris Urbino 12 hydrogen, fitted with state-of-the-art fuel cells, are to go all the way to Bolzano.
Rome-based Cotral signs another framework contract with Solaris, for the delivery of up to 300 intercity buses of the InterUrbino type.
At the September Busworld 2019 trade fair in Brussels, Solaris presents yet more product novelties, i.a. an 18-metre electric bus equipped with Solaris High Energy+ batteries of the latest generation.
Another novelty in 2019 is the Trollino 24 MetroStyle, the first bi-articulated vehicle in the company’s history.
Solaris expands its after-sales offer, in particular with regard to the fleet management of buses with alternative propulsion systems. The product dedicated to that segment is the eSConnect system.
The 20,000th bus rolls out of the Solaris factory gates. The jubilee Solaris vehicle is an Urbino 18 electric, the last vehicle of an order for Warsaw’s carrier MZA Warszawa numbering 130 e-buses.
During an online launch – the first ever in the company’s history – organised in an interactive format, the manufacturer unveils the latest model in its offering, the Solaris Urbino 15 LE electric bus.
The most prominent contracts include one of the largest orders for electric vehicles in Europe and the manufacturer’s largest one for Germany so far, i.e. 90 Urbino electric units making their way to Berlin.
Solaris joins the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance and signs a Letter of Intent to establish the Wielkopolska Hydrogen Valley.
The company’s first Sustainability Report is drawn up, and it is awarded a prize for best debut at the Sustainability Reports competition.
New investments at the company’s premise: the Warehouse Hall and an innovative Charging Park for electric vehicles.
The Solaris team receives the Polish Project Excellence Award 2022 in the New Technologies, Science and Innovations category for the way it implemented the Urbino 9 LE electric project.