Stadtwerke Tübingen (swt) and TüBus are clearing the way for the continued electrification of public transport in Tübingen. Their management boards have given the green light for a total of 40 new electric buses. Parallel to the procurement of the vehicles, the required charging infrastructure will be developed in the city area.

The conversion of the TüBus fleet to purely electric drives must systematically go hand in hand with the development of a charging infrastructure. For that reason, the phased plan by Stadtwerke Tübingen envisages several stages. The first step is procuring a total of 29 new electric buses. In the already approved second expansion phase, another eleven new e-buses will be added. By the end of the phased plan, the future TüBus fleet will comprise entirely of electrically-powered city buses – 40 new electric buses in total.

The main prerequisite for operation is a highly customized charging infrastructure and an optimal charging concept. The swt is planning a decentralised charging infrastructure for this purpose. Alongside some central charging points, e-charging points for the electric bus fleet are to be installed at strategically important places in the city area. In order to be able to charge the buses as quickly as possible, the electric buses are to be charged with the aid of pantographs. Tübingen’s municipal utilities are taking potential noise emissions into consideration: they will inform the public in a timely and transparent manner, particularly in locations where interim e-bus charging is necessary along its route. The exact location planning for interim charging points has not yet been decided. Interim charging is however necessary, because the routes cannot be serviced by a single electric bus otherwise.

Large investment in conversion of Tübingen public transport

The investment required for the conversion of the public transport system for both bus fleet phases together comprises around 20 million euros, with around 7 million euros for the charging infrastructure in the first phase, that has now been approved by the committees. Stadtwerke Tübingen received funding approval in 2022 for 44 new electric buses and charging infrastructure under the guideline on the funding of alternative drives of buses in passenger transport from the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport. The ‘TueBus2025’ project is funded under the BMDV’s bus funding guideline in the amount of 13,816,000 euros by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport. The funding guideline is coordinated by NOW GmbH and implemented by Project Management Jülich (PtJ). A maximum of 80 per cent of added investment costs for e-bus procurements and 40 per cent of charging infrastructure costs are eligible, which will be funded with a further 2,531,253 euros.

The first four of these funded buses have already been ordered and will be delivered by the end of 2023. The conversion of the TüBus fleet to electric and hybrid drives has already been underway for some years: the first electric bus has been in service in Tübingen since 2019, two other electric solo buses were added at the end of 2021, with four electric small buses coming online at the end of 2023. TüBus is currently preparing the first six fully electric articulated buses for scheduled service. A total of 28 hybrid and mild-hybrid city buses also already belong to the TüBus fleet.

Source: Stadtwerke Tübingen