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            june 17, 2019

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Solaris Urbino electric - the customer’s choice


In 2013, Solaris set goals for further development in the field of its electric buses. The company focuses on the consistent development of vehicles with electric powertrains and different charging solutions. The offer is flexibly adapted to match customers’ requirements. Recent orders for Solaris electric buses prove the success of the chosen path.
All Solaris electric buses are designed in a way to enable operators to choose the solution most suited to their requirements. A bus specification is prepared by the Research and Development Department on the basis of customers’ expectations. Solaris’s engineers offer substantial support in matching a charging method as well as battery parameters for each and every route. This flexibility is reflected in the orders which will be completed this year.
In the spring of 2014, Solaris delivers two Solaris Urbino 12 electric with conventional plug connections to Düsseldorf. They are fitted with 210 kWh batteries. Both vehicles can be also equipped with an automatic system for conductive fast charging mounted on the roof at a later date. According to a stimulation prepared by Solaris’s engineers, there will be one 200 kW battery charger on the route. Buses will use it during their daily service. The charging time will be adapted to the timetable and will take only a few minutes. The charging cable will be fitted into a special arm allowing easy and comfortable use. Thanks to this solution, the charging process is as simple as fueling a bus. Two additional 32 kW battery chargers located at the depot will be used at night. All parameters were adapted to supply the amount of energy required to complete the service, even in case of unexpected obstacles preventing a bus from arriving at a charging point on time.
The German city of Braunschweig chose the Solaris Urbino 12 electric with contactless inductive charging. The system allows a bus to be charged automatically at bus stops thanks to induction coils fitted under the road surface. The whole process is fast and efficient. In 2014, Solaris will deliver four more inductively charged electric buses to Braunschweig, this time 18-metre versions. These Solaris Urbino 18 electric will be the first articulated electric buses produced by Solaris. Their purchase is part of the EMIL project for "e-mobility through inductive charging", whose aim is to increase the number of inductively charged electric buses. The first five Solaris buses are only the beginning of this project.
A Solaris battery bus was also chosen by the Swedish city of Västerås, which ordered the Solaris Urbino 12 electric with conventional plug connection. Its 160 kWh battery will be divided into four packs. Two of them, 40 kWh each, will be placed on the roof, while the remaining two will be installed at the rear of the vehicle. Thanks to this solution, axle loads will be evenly distributed and three additional seats will be added on the rear bench. The bus will additionally be equipped with a heater powered by two gas cylinders installed on the roof. The gas heater will extend the range of the bus, since it will not use the energy stored in the battery to heat the interior. It will improve the vehicle’s efficiency, especially during Swedish cold winters. The bus will be also equipped with a 25 kW electric heater. This innovative bus will be officially presented in June 2014 and start its service in autumn this year. Västerås is now conducting a pilot study on electric buses to evaluate their feasibility and efficiency. If the result is satisfactory, the city will purchase more electric buses in the future.

Fuel cells in Hamburg
With an order from Hamburger Hochbahn for two Solaris Urbino 18.75 electric with fuel cells, Solaris will add a new innovative solution to its product range. The vehicles for Hamburg will be equipped with a 120 kWh battery will use Ballard’s 101 kW fuel cells as a range extender. The fuel cells will be used only when 100% of stored energy is required which will significantly increase their durability. The batteries will remain the main energy provider to the drive system and will be charged by the fuel cells during operation. It will make the electric bus similarly efficient to diesel buses. Battery charging cycles will be pre-programmed. The bus will be fuelled with hydrogen once a day in the depot. It will be ready to cover 300 km per day. By 2020 Hamburger Hochbahn is going to replace its diesel buses with eco-friendly vehicles.

The journey begins
The wide scope of Solaris electric buses which will be delivered this year reflects a general situation in public transport as well as a growing demand for alternative sustainable solutions. We can observe a general upward trend in the number of order s for eco -friendly vehicle s. The amount of money spent on scientific research also is growing constantly. Transport companies conduct pilot studies to check the feasibility of these new solutions. It will not take long to see them being put into practice.

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