The French city of Orléans has ordered 29 electric buses from Irizar. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in mid-2021. The procurement is part of a more extensive plan in Orléans.
As reported, this plan provides for the purchase of about 180 electric buses by 2024. The order from Irizar is a cautious one – In January, Orléans and the surrounding communities (known as Orléans Métropole) announced that some tests would still be run before the order was officially signed.
Now, it appears that the tests have all been successfully completed and the contracts have been signed. The all-electric 12-meter buses have a range of 220 kilometres, but the Spanish company has not provided further details on the technical specifications. However, Irizar has pointed out that the batteries and the technology used “in the areas of electronics, communication and the main components and systems” are proprietary developments.
The first vehicles from the order are to be delivered in mid-2021. Irizar will also provide after-sales service, which will be carried out by “locally appointed persons”. A number of other jobs will also be created for local electric bus specialists.
In autumn 2018, the transport company Keolis was commissioned by Orléans Métropole to create a fully electric public transport system in the territory by 2025. This year, 44.3 million euros will be invested for this purpose. Although the plan is to use battery-electric buses, it is not clear at the moment whether Irizar will be the sole supplier for the 180 vehicles or whether other manufacturers will be invited to bid in future tenders.
In terms of the Irizar’s commitment to sustainably-produced vehicles, the company was keen to point out that it has invested in the “largest solar photovoltaic farm in the Basque Country”, with the aim of using the same amount of photovoltaic power that this generates to manufacture their buses.
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