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Leipzig’s launches e-bus operation on route 89

Leipzig’s public transport operator LVB (Leipziger Verkehrsbetriebe) launched the first fully electric buses from the manufacturer VDL on line 89 in the first week of may. This means that the vehicles will be used in passenger service and the functionality of the electric bus and recharging system will be tested and adjusted at the terminal and in the depot. Line 89 will thus soon be running entirely with electric buses. From the summer holidays, the trial operation is to be extended to lines 74 and 76.

The buses manufactured in the Netherlands are 21 VDL Citeas SLF-120 Electric with a length of 12 metres. The vehicles are equipped with a 3-door configuration. However, these are not the first e-buses in Leipzig. Since 2016, tests with a Göppel e-bus under the project name “eBus Batteryfly” have been carried out in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Transport and Infrastructure Systems (IVI).

Side view of the 2-door VDL Citea Electric I © Leipziger Gruppe

“For the people of Leipzig, we want to support the city’s climate protection and energy targets and make our contribution by introducing e-bus technology. The conversion to electric buses is a challenging technology project for LVB. The training of the driving personnel, the use of electric buses, the construction of the charging stations and the equipment of the workshop are important components of the system change from diesel to electric drive,” says Ronald Juhrs, technical managing director of Leipziger Verkehrsbetriebe.

By the end of the year, the full use of electric buses is to be implemented on lines 74, 76 and 89. Line 60 is planned for 2022. LVB is procuring additional articulated buses for this purpose. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and by state funds. For the operation of the new vehicles, the drivers have been trained on the vehicles in recent weeks.

Opportunity Charging with charging stations

Initially, 4 quick-charging stations from Siemens were installed at the terminals of lines 89, 74 and 76, as well as 21 depot charging stations in the Lindenau bus station. Further charging stations will follow in 2022. Depending on the bus line, the VDL e-buses will be charged for a few minutes at the terminals and additionally overnight in the depot. Charging takes place both at the and fast chargers in the depot, exclusively via the pantograph on the bus roof. The buses are equipped with 216 kWh batteries, 80% of which are usable. The range is 150 km.

Initially, 4 quick-charging stations from Siemens were installed at the terminals of lines 89, 74 and 76, as well as 21 depot charging stations in the Lindenau bus station I © Leipziger Gruppe

A charging management system is also being procured. This is intended to avoid power peaks, regulate the demand-based, battery-friendly charging overnight and precondition the vehicles if necessary.

21 e-buses by the end of 2021

“The new e-buses not only offer customers attractive vehicles with modern drive technologies, but also a variety of innovations: For example, the buses not only offer a comfortable ride, but also sufficient space for prams and wheelchairs as well as USB ports for charging smartphones,” says Thorsten Schmidt, LVB project manager for the introduction of e-bus technology in Leipzig.

A total of 21 e-buses will be in use in Leipzig by the end of the year. More buses are to follow. For charging and parking, LVB is building a bus port with charging facilities at the bus terminal in Lindenau.

The e-buses are charged by Opportunity Charging during the day and in the depot at night I © Leipziger Group
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