Berlin orders 350 articulated electric buses and chargers

Berlin’s public transport operator BVG is preparing to purchase 350 articulated electric buses with pantographs and plans to install new chargers at up to 90 locations in the German capital.

The German newspaper Tagesspiegel reports this, citing BVG COO Rolf Erfurt. The public transport operator has yet to make an official announcement. According to the newspaper, deliveries of the 350 new articulated electric buses, for which BVG received federal funding last year, could begin at the end of 2024. Who the buses will come from, however, remains unclear.

To ensure that the 18-metre-long vehicles can be on the road all day, BVG wants to set up charging infrastructure at terminal stops in the city. There, the buses can charge their batteries via pantographs during breaks. “We have already identified the 70 to 90 locations, but the coordination is ongoing,” Erfurt told Tagesspiegel.

Meanwhile, delivery of the 90 solo electric buses ordered from Ebusco at the end of 2021 is progressing, says the BVG COO – but not as quickly as expected: When the first example of this Ebusco 2.2 fleet was unveiled in August 2022, it was said that the other 89 vehicles would arrive at BVG by the end of 2022. According to the Tagesspiegel, however, only 18 examples are in service so far.

Berlin currently counts 156 electric buses, and the transport operator is increasingly moving toward replacing diesel with battery-electric buses. Hydrogen, by the way, will not play a role in the future, according to Erfurt.

BVG intends to completely electrify its city bus fleet of around 1,500 vehicles by 2030. As an interim step, the number of electric buses in operation and subsidised by the federal government will reach 578 by the end of 2025.

Incidentally, BVG is not the only city to order 350 electric buses. Just yesterday, Verkehrsbetriebe Hamburg-Holstein (VHH) made public a major order on the same scale. MAN Truck & Bus and Daimler Buses emerged as the winners from the largest e-bus tender in VHH’s corporate history. The first units from the new framework agreement are expected to arrive in Hamburg in the first half of 2024. (paywall)


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