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Electric Solaris buses in Barcelona

Electric Solaris buses in Barcelona
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Solaris Bus & Coach S.A. has supplied another batch of electric buses to Barcelona. The delivery of the three Urbino 18 electrics marks the completion of a contract signed in July 2017. As a result, the eco-friendly electric vehicles of Solaris are now running in 38 cities in 13 states in Europe.

The Solaris Urbino 18 electric buses delivered to Barcelona are not the first ones of the Polish manufacturer in this city. The order for three of these environmentally friendly vehicles was placed by the local public transport carrier Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) which has already quite a few buses with the green dachshund logo in its fleet: currently there are nearly 60 Urbino 18 hybrid buses cruising the streets of this city.

“The delivery of Solaris’ electric buses to Barcelona is an extremely important event; the order placed by the customer is a proof of the customer’s satisfaction with the vehicles of our brand. I am convinced that our experience in the production of green urban transport vehicles, counted in over 10 million kilometres driven by these, will translate to an improved travel comfort in the articulated Urbino electric buses for TMB in Barcelona,” assures Javier Calleja, CEO of Solaris Bus & Coach, who was present during the handing over of the buses.

The battery Urbino was fitted with an electric motor with a rated power of 240 kW, as well as 5 sets of lithium-ion traction batteries with a total capacity of 146 kWh. The vehicles can be charged in two ways: by plug-in or via a roof-mounted pantograph placed above the first axle, with the latter charging mode enabling fast charging of up to 400 kW.

The supplied buses feature a range of improvements considerably raising the comfort of use from the point of view of passengers, the bus driver and also the operator managing the bus fleet. As a result of the application of state-of-the-art technologies, the vehicles feature among others a system of sound alerts warning pedestrians of the approaching vehicle, which is extremely helpful for blind and visually impaired road users. Meanwhile drivers will benefit from the 270° peripheral system, i.e. a smart video surveillance system which – thanks to ultra-wide angle cameras installed on the sides and in the back of the vehicle – shows the driver in real time an extended view of the bus and its surrounding taking into account also “blind spots”. This solution increases safety significantly, reducing also the number of collisions on the road. Furthermore, the manufacturer has included thermal pre-conditioning in the Urbino 18 electric buses for Barcelona; this is the latest bus heating solution developed by Solaris’ Office of Research and Development (BBiR). When implemented during the charging of the buses, pre-conditioning optimises the use of electric power during the actual bus ride, which allows for an extension of the driving range on one charging and for the reduction of the time needed between starting a bus and reaching optimal parameters for passenger transport.

Right before placing its order, and as part of the ZeEUS project, TMB Barcelona had the opportunity to see for itself how the electric buses of Solaris fare in practice. This project made it possible to test the Urbino electric for a period of two years. Buses with the Solaris logo are becoming increasingly popular in Spain; nearly 200 of them are currently in use in cities such as Castellón de la Plana, Pamplona, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Sevilla or San Sebastian. Three Urbino 12 buses carry passengers at the Palma de Mallorca airport of the picturesque island of Mallorca.

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