Geneva: Hess receives another all-Swiss order
The Swiss bus manufacturer Hess has placed the winning bid in a tender for Geneva’s public transport company TPG (Transports Publics Genevois). TPG now commissioned Hess to deliver 119 extra-long and tram-like electric buses.
TPG expects 65 articulated and 54 double-articulated buses of type lighTram TOSA to enter service in the first half of 2025. The electric bendy buses are officially designated lighTram 19 TOSA and lighTram 25 TOSA according to the length of 19 and 25 metres.
Alongside Hess delivering the vehicles, TPG contracted Hitachi Energy to install charging infrastructure at the depots. The partners have been working together regularly, also in Geneva, from as early as 2013. In 2017 the Swiss company ABB built the first so-called TOSA charging stations ahead of the first twelve buses starting to use the infrastructure a year later. ABB has since sold its power grid division to Hitachi, initially as the joint venture Hitachi ABB Power Grids, since 2021, active as Hitachi Energy.
Hess is known primarily for its trolleybuses (with overhead wires), yet TDG opted for manufacturers’ battery-electric buses in the range. The Hess buses will serve six routes in Geneva and rely on so-called Opportunity Charging, meaning they charge when they can. In this case, the new buses will charge at the terminals and make one or two stops along the route.
Hess will assemble the electric buses for TPG in Switzerland, but they will not be entirely Swiss-made any longer. Until now, the bodyshells were manufactured in secondary production in Minsk, Belarus, before Hess continued the production in the spring of 2022 due to the Russian war on Ukraine. The company’s new Porto plant has just begun operations and will produce the shells. The final assembly will continue at the main plant in Bellach, Switzerland. Hitachi Energy will make the infrastructure components at its Geneva site.
The new electric buses for TPG will replace 189 Citaro diesel vehicles and older trolleybuses that will reach the end of service life in 2025/26. This fleet renewal includes another 18 trams ordered from Stadler. TPG aims to have an all-electric fleet by 2030.