The first Solaris electric bus has arrived in Berlin from an order placed in summer last year when Berlin’s public transport authority, the BVG, ordered 90 Urbino 12 electric buses. Another order of 90 vehicles is still pending.
A BVG spokesperson told the Berlin newspaper Berliner Morgenpost, that the first Solaris is said to have been handed over to BVG as early as the end of February. By the beginning of April, 20 electric buses from the 2019 order will be delivered. After a break until early August, the remaining 70 Solaris buses are to be delivered by the end of the year.
From April, BVG plans to use the 20 electric buses also on lines 25, 155 and 294. Currently, 31 electric buses are in service for BVG, 16 of which are from Solaris, 15 from Mercedes-Benz. By the end of the year, the number is expected to rise to 121 buses. By then, all routes served from the bus depot on Indira Ghandi Street would be served by electric single-decker buses.
Meanwhile, the order for a further 90 electrically powered buses is stalled due to a dispute over financing – in a complete mess-up, the awarding procedure has now been officially withdrawn. This has also stalled the further expansion of the charging infrastructure for the buses (for example, there are plans for a pure E-bus depot in Köpenick) from being carried out with contracts and orders at present, as BVG cannot make any investments without an agreed budget.
In the bus depot on Indira Gandhi Street, charging infrastructure is currently being set up with pillars from the Polish manufacturer Ekoenergetyka – this order was placed even before the budget dispute. According to the BVG spokesperson, 30 charging points are already in place and the rest will now be installed.
morgenpost.de (in German)
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