Solaris electric buses are headed for Riga
In Latvia, the capital Riga will be graced with 52 Solaris electric buses. Public transport operator Rigas Satiksme has initially awarded the contract to the Polish manufacturer for 35 electric buses, while the purchase of 17 additional electric buses is still to be decided.
The new electric buses are to replace outdated buses in Latvia’s capital that have been in use for about 20 years. The estimated purchase price for the 52 electric buses and spare parts is up to 34.3 million euros net. The total duration of the contract is to be a maximum of five years.
The public transport operator says that the purchase of the electric fleet is supported by a grant for 18.2 million euros from the European Union (EU) Cohesion Fund. Additional support for the purchase of additional 17 electric vehicles, which the public transport operator is still deciding upon, will come from a grant of 11.2 million euros net expected through co-financing of the EU Recovery Fund.
More precise details on the type of the new electric buses have not yet been revealed. In 2016, Rigas Satiksme signed a contract with Solaris to supply ten low-floor trolleybuses, each fitted with a hydrogen fuel cell range extender as well as a battery, which allows it to operate without traction energy supply.
Riga enjoys a public transport system with six tram routes, 18 trolleybus routes and 51 bus routes that run from 5 am in the morning to 1 am at night. The city with around 600,000 inhabitants is home to a third of Latvia’s population.
According to the public transport operator, a total of ten companies responded to the latest tender, of which the first five and then two were shortlisted – namely Solaris and Karsan. In the end, the Latvian company chose the Polish manufacturer. The first 35 electric buses will now initially be procured with a “maximum contract sum of 23.1 million euros”.