The Berlin Transport Authority (BVG – Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe) is taking electric mobility to a new level with the “E-MetroBus” project. With the Solaris Urbino 18 electric, the first fully-electric articulated bus has recently joined Germany's largest city bus fleet. 16 more will follow in the coming weeks.
After a short test run, the new articulated e-buses are to take over all journeys on route 200 from summer onwards, thus ensuring even better air in the city centre.
As with the vehicles of the existing articulated bus fleet, the new additions are 18 metres long and offer space for 99 passengers. A noticeable difference is made by the virtually noiseless electric drive. For the first time in Berlin, the new vehicles will be charged within minutes by means of a pantograph at the terminal stops. The rapid charging columns required for this are supplied by Siemens. The first example, located on Hertzallee, already went into operation at the end of last week.
The vehicles and infrastructure are being procured by BVG as part of the “E-MetroBus” research and development project. The project is being scientifically supported by the TU Berlin and the Reiner Lemoine Institute. Among the topics to be clarified is how well charging works at the terminal stations of the high-frequency 200 bus line. The total budget for the project on the part of BVG amounts to around 16.74 million euros. BVG will cover the costs that would have been incurred for comparable diesel buses, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI – Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur) will contribute a further 4.3 million euros within the scope of the electric mobility funding guideline. The remaining additional costs will be covered by the state of Berlin. In addition, the BMVI is providing 1.3 million euros in funding for accompanying scientific research.