Krakow’s public transport operator Miejskie Przedsiębiorstwo Komunikacyjne has ordered 50 electric articulated buses from Solaris. The 50 new electric articulated buses are to be delivered within one year.
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The model in question is the 18-metre Urbino 18 electric. The vehicles will complement the current fleet of 400 Solaris vehicles of various configurations, including 28 battery-powered buses. MPK also operates a number of Volvo hybrid buses in the Polish city.
According to the manufacturer, the agreement now signed provides not only for the delivery of the 50 electric-articulated buses, but also for 50 wired chargers for the depot. Solaris estimates the scope of the contract at more than 165 million zloty, or around 36 million euros. “We see the decision to purchase another 50 Solaris electric buses as a confirmation of the positive experience gained from operating Solaris’ electric vehicles, which is not only due to the high quality of the buses but also to the professionally prepared maintenance services,” said Petros Spinaris, Deputy Chairman of the Solaris Board of Management. However, price may also have played a role: Evobus’ offer is said to have been 176.5 million zloty (about 40 million Euro).
However, a large part of the purchase price is covered by subsidies, including from the European Union. “We have been promised 110 million zloty of subsidies for the purchase of these vehicles. This is, therefore, an opportunity for us to procure emission-free buses for the inhabitants of Krakow using relatively small amounts of our own funds,” says Rafał Świerczyński, the Chairman of the Board of the operator MPK S.A. in Krakow.
The ordered version of the Urbino 18 electric can carry 141 passengers, 43 of whom are seated. However, the electric bus maker does not indicate which battery configuration (and thus the range) MPK has chosen. In addition to the possibility of charging the buses at the depot via CCS cable, all vehicles are also prepared for charging via pantograph.
Update 19 March 2021: Solaris Bus & Coach starts deliveries of electric buses for the city of Krakow. The first units of the articulated electric buses, which will be used on route 179, have already arrived in Kraków. The new electric buses will strengthen the city’s bus fleet, which currently numbers 394 Solaris buses, including 28 battery-electric buses, some of which made their debut on the streets of Kraków back in 2016. Along with the ordered vehicles, the manufacturer will supply the city’s public transport operator with 50 plug-in charging stations, each with 55.8 kW from Ekoenergetyka.
Meanwhile, Krakow intends to continue its e-offensive in the public transport sector: “We will definitely continue to order environmentally friendly buses. At the beginning of the year we applied for funding to purchase another 40 articulated e-buses under the Green Public Transport programme. Should our application be approved, zero-emission vehicles will shortly make up 20% of our fleet,” says Rafał Świerczyński, CEO of operator MPK SA.
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