In Austria, Viennese public transport operator Wiener Linien will launch tenders for 62 purely battery-electric buses and ten hydrogen fuel cell buses next year. The first vehicles included in the tender are to be put in passenger service from 2023. By 2027 at the latest, a total of 82 buses should have alternative drive systems.
Currently, Wiener Linien is testing a Mercedes eCitaro in passenger service on the route of line 57A on weekdays – the test vehicle is free of charge for customers. Such a vehicle was already on the road in Vienna for test purposes in 2019. “Within a year, massive development steps are expected for the electric drive. This is why Wiener Linien decided to test the bus again,” says Günter Steinbauer, Managing Director of Wiener Linien. “Only if we can also take a close look at the adapted vehicle in passenger test operation will we know whether it meets our high standards”.
Daimler Buses produces the eCitaro in the Evobus plant in Mannheim, Germany. Since the previous test, the manufacturer EvoBus says it has reduced the energy consumption of the drive but has also achieved greater range through an adapted control of the air conditioning and heating system. Mercedes-Benz promises a range of at least 150 kilometres without intermediate charging in midsummer temperatures. Wiener Linien is initially relying charging at the depot. In the south of Vienna, a competence centre for electric buses is being built and in Siebenhirten an e-bus garage. Later, however, intermediate charging by pantograph will also be possible.
The first H2 test bus is also expected to be in operation from June this year. However, Wiener Linien has not named the model that will be used. The H2-test will be driven from the depot Leopoldau in the north of Vienna, where a hydrogen filling station will also be built.
In addition to the planned 12-metre buses, Wiener Linien has been using fully electric eight-metre minibuses on the inner-city lines 2A and 3A since 2013. “The public transport operators are making a very important contribution to Vienna’s status as a model city for the climate,” says Ulli Sima, City Councillor for Public Transport and the Environment. “In addition to e-mobility, we also have hydrogen technology on our radar screens. Wiener Linien are once again doing pioneering work for climate-friendly mobility in our city”.
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