Starting today, Thursday, August 27, 2020, the first all-electric articulated buses are in operation in Berlin’s BVG public transport authority. A total of 17 Solaris Urbino 18 electric vehicles are now gradually taking over services on Line 200 to ensure better air quality in the city centre.
For this project entitled “E-MetroBus”, BVG has joined forces to form a research constellation together with the Technical University of Berlin and the Reiner Lemoine Institute. Within the context of the Electric Mobility Funding Guideline, the project is being supported with funds totalling 4.3 million euros by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI – Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur). The funding guideline is coordinated by NOW GmbH. Kurt-Christoph von Knobelsdorff, Managing Director of NOW GmbH: “The accompanying research will prove particularly valuable in this project. If we succeed in the electrification of demanding city bus routes in their entirety in Berlin, we will then have an excellent example for use in difficult applications that other public transport companies can emulate.”
Just like the vehicles of the previous articulated bus fleet, the new additions are 18 meters long and can carry 99 passengers. A first in Berlin, the new buses will be charged within minutes by means of pantographs at the terminal stops, to essentially provide them with an unlimited range during daily operations. The corresponding quick-charging columns necessary for this purpose were supplied by Siemens. Two of these were put into operation at each of the Michelangelostrasse and Hertzallee bus stops, and one was installed at the depot in Indira-Gandhi-Strasse.