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Chancellor’s visit to BVG Berlin: 500,000 Germany tickets sold and further expansion of the e-bus fleet

Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz driving an Ebusco 2.2 e-bus in Berlin | © UTM/b

Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the steering wheel of an e-bus! That definitely something which doesn’t happen every day. The Chancellor paid a visit to Berlin’s BVG today, 27 April 2023, and even drove one of the new electric buses from the Indira-Gandhi-Straße depot in the Hohenschönhausen district – currently Germany’s largest e-bus depot.

The main reason for the visit was the imminent launch of the nation-wide “Deutschlandticket” on 1 May, which has been introduced with the clear intention to significantly increase the importance and the use of public transport. BVG has already sold 500,000 of these tickets.

Dr. Rolf Erfurt, Member of the Management Board of BVG, Jenny Zeller, Member of the Management Board of BVG, Janine Köhler, Deputy Chairwoman of the General Staff Council of BVG, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Christine Wolburg, Head of Sales and Marketing of BVG | © UTM/b
Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the steering wheel | © UTM/b
At the rooftop workplace: explanations for the Federal Chancellor | © UTM/b

At the same time, BVG employees gave the Chancellor insights into everyday operations and the requirements of electromobility. And of course, the electrification programme of the approximately 1,570-unit bus fleet of the Berlin public transport company was also on the agenda. Of this fleet, around 160 electric buses are currently in the fleet and a further 70 are in the delivery or commissioning phase. They are divided into 105 Solaris 12-metre buses and 17 articulated buses, 15 Mercedes-Benz eCitaro buses and 90 Ebusco 2.2 buses, which have been delivered since autumn 2022 and of which around 20 are currently in regular service. With the exception of the articulated buses, they are depot chargers; the articulated vehicles are charged via inverted pantographs at fast charging points along line 200.

Ebusco, Mercedes-Benz and Solaris have been the suppliers of BVG’s e-bus fleet so far | © UTM/b

Thanks to funding from the Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV), 350 more electric articulated buses will be put out to tender this year for delivery in 2024 and 2025. They will be fitted with roof-mounted pantographs for recharging at around 90 new fast-charging points to be installed in the urban area. Nevertheless, the batteries should also be sufficiently large to be able to cover longer distances without recharging.

BVG’s battery trolleybus project, which envisaged the use of double-articulated trolleys on various lines starting from the Spandau district, has since been abandoned in favour of battery-electric double-articulated trolleys. Such a model will be made available to BVG for testing.

BVG sticks to its goal of converting its entire bus fleet to all-electric operation by 2030 – meaning that the last diesel buses will be replaced in just seven years.

Solaris Urbino 12 electric and Mercedes-Benz eCitaro | © UTM/b
BVG’s first Ebusco 2.2 are in service, here along a Solaris Urbino 12 electric on 26 April 2023 | © UTM/b