During February 2020, a Solaris Urbino 12 electric is on test at SWB in Bonn. The three-door battery bus is assigned to one fixed service line 605 (S-Bahn station Duisdorf – Endenich – Hauptbahnhof (City) – Nordstadt – Graurheindorf – Mondorfer Ferry), on which it starts its service at 4h10 in the morning at the Mondorf ferry. It actually maintains its Polish number plate “PZ 251 PV” and is thus not only the first Solaris bus used by SWB, but also the first bus with an official license plate from Poland in Bonn’s regular urban service.
After SWB (Stadtwerke Bonn Verkehrs GmbH) recently announced the delivery of four 12-metre-long battery electric buses from the Dutch manufacturer Ebusco and three 18-metre-long electric articulated buses from Solaris (Solaris Urbino 18 electric), the test of the Solaris Urbino 12 electric now shows that SWB is serious about turning away from the diesel bus. In 2030, all of the approximately 220 buses used in Bonn’s regular services (as of today) are to be electrically driven. (Note: Bonn is not expected to be able to cope with only 220 buses in 2030 – partly because the city is growing, and secondly, because of the fact that the public transport service in Bonn is also to be expanded, so that as few people as possible can get into their own car for journeys in the city.)
The technology of the test bus
The test vehicle, which is now on the road in Bonn, is designed for “over-night charging”. In other words, it is a “depot loader”. Recharging of the batteries on the line is not provided, the busr leaves the depot yard in the morning with fully charged batteries, and returns to the depot for recharging once finished its daily duties. SWB is so far relying on this method which allows for free use of the ebauses on any of its lines.
Battery technology is making rapid progress. Not only do the batteries become smaller and lighter, but their range increases significantly. The first manufacturers of electric buses are already announcing cars with a range of 300 kilometres. These could easily be used on 90% of all lines.
Heating and air conditioning of the Bonn test bus use electricit operate electrically.
The driver’s verdict …
When the author took his photos of the test bus on Bonn’s line 605, one driver was giving his opinion about the vehicle: The answer was short and clear, but above all extremely positive: “super!” .
Length: 12.000 mm
Width: 2.550 mm
Height: 3.395 mm
Distance between axes: 5.900 mm
Passenger capacity: 99, therof 30 seated
Charging system: Plug-in , Schunk
Batteries: HighEnergy 240 kWh
Elektric equipment: Medcom
Total max. weight: 19.000 kg19.02.2020