Public transport operator BVG in Berlin has taken delivery of the first articulated electric buses. A total of 17 Solaris Urbino 18 electric are now gradually taking up service on Line 200 with charging at Siemens pantographs at the terminal stops.
At 18 metres, the new e-buses are just as long as the combustion engine buses they replace. The number of seats is also the same with 99 passengers. To exploit the potential of the E-articulated buses, Siemens is installing its pantograph charging stations at key points on behalf of BVG, which will charge the buses during operation at high charging rates.
Rolf Erfurt, the member of the BVG board of directors responsible for operations, considers the arrival of the long electric buses the next step in the electrification. Half of the BVG buses are articulated, and so the company has been eager to test the battery-electric versions.
Testing has been underway for some time though and has not been without pitfalls. The first single-deck buses from Solaris arrived in Berlin in March as reported. They form an integral part of the ‘E-MetroBus’ research project supported by the Technical University of Berlin and the Reiner Lemoine Institute. The researchers are looking to develop an E-bus control system with better range prognosis, also taking into account the energy-efficient use of heating and air-con systems.
Besides, the TU is helping to develop an operating and incident concept. The Reiner Lemoine Institute is researching various scenarios to determine how a local, grid-compatible supply of charging stations at bus stops and depots can be implemented. The institute has also developed an app that allows passengers to calculate the carbon footprint of their journey and find further information on sustainable mobility.
The total investment volume for the project amounts to around 16.7 million euros. BVG will cover the costs that would have been incurred for comparable diesel buses. The State of Berlin bears the remaining additional costs. Within the framework of the Electromobility Directive, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure funds the E-MetroBus project with a total of 4.3 million euros.
bvg.de (PI in German)
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