Poznań joins cities with electric bus fleets

Poznań joins cities with electric bus fleets
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A total of 21 electric buses of Solaris shall be delivered to municipal operator MPK Poznań by the end of February 2020. The electric buses will be equipped with Solaris High Power batteries and will be suited for both pantograph and plug-in recharging. What is more, the electric Solarises shall feature a range of ultra-modern enhancements for passengers and drivers alike. These are the first buses with electric drives chosen by the capital of the Greater Poland province, and in doing so the city is following the trend of European cities switching to electromobility.

Today municipal transport operator MPK from Poznań and Solaris Bus & Coach S.A. have signed a contract for the delivery of 21 electric buses – 15 articulated ones and 6 standard length vehicles. Pursuant to the agreement the whole order is to be completed by the end of February 2020. Total contract value is over 70 million PLN (over 16 million EUR).

The environmentally friendly buses selected by the Poznań-based carrier will be fitted with Solaris High Power batteries. In the case of the 12-metre Urbinos, the batteries will boast a capacity of 116 kWh, for the articulated ones the capacity will be 174 kWh. Energy storage will be adapted to fast and frequent recharging using high charging power. The electric buses will be suited for recharging by means of a roof-mounted pantograph and a classic plug-in device. Interestingly though, the models supplied to Poznań will have plug-in charging sockets on both sides of the bus, which will ease recharging of several vehicles simultaneously.

The Urbino electric buses heading to Poznań will be recharged at three sites. Two completely new pantograph charging stations are to be set up at two bus terminals: one at the terminal Garbary, where one charging post including a plug-in charger will be available, and another one at the bus terminal near the Osiedle Sobieski estate. At the latter site, two double-stand pantograph charging stations will be built, enabling the simultaneous recharging of 4 vehicles. Thanks to a pantograph boasting a power of up to 560 kW, the buses will be able to continue making their rounds after barely a few minutes of restocking energy at the bus terminal.

The Poznań-based carrier MPK has also decided to equip the bus depot at Warszawska street with an overnight plug-in recharging station. 10 double-stand stationary devices and three mobile charging stations will make it possible for the operator to concurrently recharge over 20 electric buses.

In order to reduce the energy usage of the bus, the manufacturer will install a photovoltaic cell system on the vehicle roof, a first time for the capital of Greater Poland. The bus design will also feature eco-friendly LED lighting inside and outside of the vehicle. Moreover, it will be the first time that buses providing bend lighting will roll out on Poznań streets.

Passengers of the Poznań operator MPK will find onboard of each Urbino practical solutions already known from elsewhere, such as USB ports embedded in the vehicle railings or door-opening and stop buttons with markings in Braille. The Solaris buses will be adapted to needs of disabled persons and passengers travelling with prams. For even more travel comfort, the passenger compartment will be air-conditioned and fitted with a passenger information system. Safety in the Urbino will be ensured by a CCTV system. Another feature designed for MPK is a passenger counting system. The completely emission-free drive of the Urbino electric is based on a low-noise and efficient electric axle with two integrated engines. For extreme cold, the electric heating system will be supported by an auxiliary heating.

So far Solaris has supplied over 100 battery buses to buyers in Poland, and almost 90 more such buses have been commissioned. Poznań is yet another city that has decided in favour of high power pantograph recharging for bus batteries. Such a solution has been successfully applied in Warsaw, Jaworzno and Cracow. This goes to show that the number of Polish cities opting for electromobility for their bus fleets is rising fast. The quality of air in Polish cities has turned into one of the chief challenges that contemporary metropolises are facing now. The silent and eco-friendly electric buses of Solaris will certainly raise the travel comfort through Poznań, but they will also allow residents of the city to breath cleaner air.

Photo: Visualisation of Solaris Urbino 12 electric for MPK Poznan.

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