The new additions to Berlin's fleet of buses will be stationed at the Indira-Gandhi-Straße BVG depot in the future. During the day, however, they will run between the Südkreuz and Zoologischer Garten / Hertzallee stations as the world's first bus route in a capital city on which only cable and contactless charged electric vehicles can be used. This is made possible by PRIMOVE technology from Bombardier that relies on inductive charging within minutes at the terminal stops and the electric drive system from Vossloh Kiepe. The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure is providing a total of around 4.1 million euros to support the project and it is being scientifically supported by TU Berlin.
Twelve meters long, 2.55 meters wide and room for 70 passengers: At first glance, the new Solaris looks like a modern, but otherwise normal single-decker bus. But you can't see what makes it special with your eyes. Indeed, it is best to use your ears and nose to ascertain what makes it different from a bus with a conventional drive. In this sense, the Urbino 12 electric proves to be conspicuously inconspicuous: with no exhaust fumes, there is nothing to smell. It makes as much noise as the average car. And thanks to the vibration-free electric drive from Vossloh Kiepe, the bus also provides an extremely smooth ride, further setting the bus apart. It will therefore benefit passengers, local residents and the environment at the same time – as the four new buses will save around 260 tons of CO2 emissions per year in the future. To achieve the same effect, approximately 250 Berlin cars, with average driving behavior, would need to be electrified.
With a maximum speed of 65 kilometers per hour, which is not reached in the city center, the new Urbino 12 electric shows how far electromobility in bus transport has already advanced. This is made possible by the electric drive system from Vossloh Kiepe and the asynchronous central engine's 160 kilowatts of power. The Bombardier PRIMOVE battery system with a capacity of 90 kilowatt hours in turn ensures sufficient energy reserves for the 6.1-km-long number 204 bus route despite heavy Berlin city traffic.
Initial tests in preparation for approval have already begun and the new e-bus fleet should enter regular service before the summer is out. Then BVG passengers will be able to use the four solar buses in addition to the subway and tram as electric means of transport in Berlin – which have been made even more environmentally friendly thanks to the recent shift to green electricity. As part of the accompanying scientific research, TU Berlin previously determined the required charging times and necessary capacity of the high-performance batteries. It is currently conducting a technical and economic assessment of the project. The operational phase of line 204 as part of the Berlin-Brandenburg International Showcase for Electromobility will run until the end of September 2016.
(A joint press release from the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG), Bombardier Transportation, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), the Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment, Solaris Bus & Coach S.A., TU Berlin and Vossloh Kiepe GmbH)