Polish bus manufacturer Solaris has received its first electric bus order from the Czech Republic. The transport operator Dopravní Podnik in Ostrava (DPO) has ordered 24 Urbino 12 electric buses from the Polish manufacturer, including the charging infrastructure.
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Solaris says it already signed the contract with the public transport operator from Ostrava last week. In addition to the 24 solo buses, the order also includes 24 mobile charging stations for the depot and four top-down pantograph fast chargers and four charging stations for maintenance purposes. Deliveries are scheduled to be completed in 2022.
For the 12-metre buses, DPO has opted for relatively small batteries, with only 90 kWh installed. The manufacturer says that the capacity has been optimally adapted to frequent and short charging times, which are typical for the buses’ route. The vehicles offer space for up to 80 passengers, including standing room.
Solaris says it has already delivered more than 400 buses to Ostrava, including some CNG buses and trolleybuses for electric operation on overhead lines. In Ostrava, the trolleybus network is 33 kilometres long. The 24 vehicles now on order will be the first battery-electric buses in Ostrava and the first battery-electric buses in the Czech Republic for Solaris.
“Dopravní Podnik in Ostrava was our first customer in the Czech Republic, and more than 20 years ago, the firm was also the first foreign recipient of a Solaris bus,” said Solaris sales director Petros Spinaris. “The purchase decisions of DPO reflect the firm’s highly restrictive approach to the issue of transforming its fleet; they also go hand in hand with the motto of the carrier: ‘Public transport without diesel!'”
Ostrava is the third-largest city in the Czech Republic and is located in the northeast of the country, near the border with Poland. The Hyundai plant Nošovice (where the Kona Electric is made) is located in the surrounding area. Ostrava was long considered one of the dirtiest cities in the EU with its history in heavy industry. In the meantime, particulate matter emissions are only around two per cent of the levels from the 1980s.
Update 15 April 2021: The Czech Ostrava transport authority released further details regarding the above order of 24 electric buses with Solaris. Siemens Smart Infrastructure signed responsible for delivering related charging infrastructure.
The order includes four Siemens Sicharge UC high-performance chargers with an output of 400 kW each, which rely on a maximum DC output of 500 A, and at up to 1000 V. Siemens will also supply 28 mobile chargers, the electrical infrastructure and software for energy automation.
Siemens will install charging points for electric buses at the Hranečník terminal and in Valchařská Street in central Ostrava. One Sicharge UC fast charger with a top-down pantograph will be installed at Hranečník, and three Sicharge UC fast chargers, each in combination with a top-down pantograph, will be installed at Valchařská. All charging points will be equipped with a surveillance camera and run on a self-service basis. They are expected to charge the first electric buses by summer 2022.
Additional reporting by Nora Manthey.
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