Rome wants to make a new start with small electric buses, now that a prototype for a modernised electric minibus called Gulliver has been presented. The operation of electric buses was allegedly stopped in 2014 due to problems with the batteries and was discontinued after another short operating phase in 2017.
The new plan involves the deployment of 25 electric minibuses on lines 116, 117, 119 and 125 in the Italian capital starting in spring 2019 and set to increase to 60 vehicles by 2020. The electric vehicles offer eight seats and 14 standing places each. The electric buses are especially suited to the narrow streets of the historic old town, through which all four of the mentioned above bus lines run, demonstrating their strengths as manoeuvrable and emission-free means of transport.
According to Atac, the “new” minibuses are the result of a general overhaul. The framework agreement for the modernisation of the 60 vehicles, includes the costs for full-service maintenance over a six-year period and has a value of EUR 7.1 million. In addition, it is conceivable that new batteries could be procured for a total of 2 million euros.