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The future is electric: Three zero-emission Solaris buses make it to Bonn

The future is electric: Three zero-emission Solaris buses make it to Bonn
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Solaris has just delivered three Urbino 18 electric buses to Bonn. It is the first contract the manufacturer performed for its customer Stadtwerke Bonn Bus und Bahn (SWB). The deployment of new electric buses will allow the city to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 200 tonnes, and NOx emissions - by 430 kilograms every year. Starting now, the silent and energy-efficient electric vehicles of Solaris will run on the streets of the federal city.

The fleet of buses in the city on the Rhine river is changing sustainably and it constitutes a part of the region’s comprehensive climate protection plan. Notably, the three delivered Urbino 18 electric buses are fuelled solely by so-called “green” energy, i.e. power derived from renewable sources.

“The future is electric. We stick to our step-by-step plan of transitioning the fleet towards zero-emission transport and we keep investing in comfortable and quiet electric buses which, thanks to low CO2 emission levels, are locally neutral for the environment,” says Anja Wenmakers, the Managing Director of SWB Bus und Bahn.

The supplied buses come with the guarantee of achieving a driving range of 200 km on a single charge over a usage period of 12 years, regardless of the weather conditions. Meeting these requirements was possible thanks to the application of the new generation of Solaris’ High Energy battery. The total capacity of the batteries installed in the buses for Bonn comes to over 550 kWh. Thanks to these features, the vehicles will be able to effortlessly cover the range stipulated by the client, irrespective of weather or road conditions, with the heating or the air-conditioning switched on and with a full set of passengers on board.

“Contrary to other transport companies, we rely exclusively on long-range electric buses. That is why Bonn does not have to invest in charging outlets spread across the city,” adds Anja Wenmakers.

The drive unit in the Urbino 18 electric bus consists of an electric axle with two integrated motors boasting a power of 125 kW each. The vehicles have a purely electrical heating system, whereas the temperature comfort in the buses is ensured by efficient and environmentally friendly air conditioning featuring a heat pump. The device uses heat drawn in from the outside to reach the right vehicle temperature.

Over the past months, the bus depot in Friesdorf witnessed the setup of a new charging infrastructure. The batteries of the articulated electric buses are charged there overnight, using plug-in connectors. The charging outlets were created based on binding standards and are compatible with every vehicle type recharged with direct current. The overnight charging mode allows for the deployment, by SWB, of electric buses to nearly all bus lines.

The articulated electric buses can fit up to 100 passengers. Catering to the client’s wishes, Solaris has designed a completely new seat layout, adding an additional bench for three passengers in the rear of the vehicle. This solution allowed to raise the number of seats on board of the buses to 44, many of which will be accessible from the low floor, which makes it easier to travel for persons with reduced mobility. What is more, the new buses will offer a total of 21 double USB ports for passengers to recharge their mobile devices.

While ordering the buses, the public transport operator also considered the safety and work comfort of drivers. The buses supplied by Solaris feature state-of-the-art assistance systems, such as MobilEye Shield+. This device allows the driver to spot more thanks to cameras placed outside of the vehicle; these cameras detect pedestrians and cyclists situated in the blind spot of the vehicle. This is particularly important during turns, when visibility is impaired. What is more, one of the buses has cameras in lieu of conventional side mirrors.

Investments which aim to transform the bus fleet, so it consists of vehicles fuelled with alternative energy sources, are essential for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in local public transport. In the future, SWB Bus und Bahn plans to convert its fleet to one using solely alternative drive technologies, so as to make all regular transport services environmentally neutral.

“The articulated electric buses of Solaris are emission-free, silent vehicles. SWB Bus und Bahn invests in innovative mobility solutions. We are proud that, thanks to the trust placed in us by our client, we can be part of the transformation of municipal transport in Bonn,” explains Christian Goll, managing director of Solaris Deutschland GmbH.

The German market of electric buses is expanding dynamically, whereas the electric Urbinos have run on German streets since 2013. Solaris has so far delivered 200 electric buses to its German clients. Solaris is Europe’s leading e-mobility provider when it comes to public transport.

Photos: SWB

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Solaris Bus & Coach sp. z o.o. is one of the leading European bus and trolleybus manufacturers. Benefiting from 25 years of experience and having manufactured over 20,000 vehicles, Solaris affects the quality of city transport in hundreds of cities across Europe every day. Thinking of the future, the firm is setting new standards by dynamically developing its products, in particular in the electromobility sector. Solaris electric buses, trolleybuses and hydrogen buses are cutting-edge solutions for zero emission public transport. Solaris products have been repeatedly awarded for quality and innovation. The Solaris Urbino 12 electric won the prestigious European "Bus of the Year 2017" competition. In September 2018 Solaris Bus & Coach sp. z o.o. joined CAF Group.

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Mateusz Figaszewski

E-mobility Development & Market Intelligence Director

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