Solaris to provide 6 electric buses for Switzerland
Solaris is to deliver a total of six Urbino 12 electric to Switzerland after winning a tender. The Swiss public transport companies Verkehrsbetriebe Luzern AG (VBL Luzern) and Zugerland Verkehrsbetriebe AG (ZVB Zug) have ordered three buses each. Further vehicles could follow.
The orders are based on a framework agreement concluded by the Polish manufacturer with a procurement consortium from Switzerland. In addition to ZVB Zug and VBL Luzern, this consortium also includes Schwyz (Auto AG Schwyz) and Thun (STI Bus AG).
Delivery of the vehicles now on order is scheduled for October 2021. All six vehicles have the same drive (an electric axle with two electric motors) and will also have the same battery configuration with almost 400 kWh total capacity. Charging will take place in the depot, fast charging along the route is not planned due to the range and the planned routes.
There is likely to be differences between the vehicles for Lucerne and Zug in the interior of the buses. Solaris says that VBL Lucerne has opted for a semi-enclosed driver’s cabin, which should increase driver safety. The driver’s cabin has separate ventilation and air conditioning to the passenger compartment. This is supposed to limit air exchange with the passenger area – especially important during the pandemic, but also during the usual flu season.
Solaris CEO Petros Spinaris says that the order stems from an extensive test of several Urbino 12 electric in 2018. He explained that these Swiss cities were given the opportunity to experience the emission-free buses in tests of the Urbino 12 electric whereby the vehicle was tried out in regular passenger traffic for several weeks. Now, six units of this type will become a permanent part of the fleets of Swiss public transport services.
Most recently, in March this year, the Urbino 12 Electric was ordered in the Polish city of Opole. In the same month, orders were placed for the electric bus from Solaris in the Czech Republic, as well as winning a multi-city tender in Romania. Solaris fuel cell buses are now also getting some positive attention in Europe so far this year with orders in Germany and Austria.