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SOR / Cegelec battery trolleybuses for Prague’s new network

@ Designentwurf SOR

The winner of the public tender for the purchase of 15 new battery-powered articulated trolleybuses, which was awarded by the Public Transport Company of the Capital City of Prague (DPP), is Cegelec. SOR Libchavy with the vehicle SOR TNS 18 and Cegelec electric equipmenty Cegelec. DPP will deploy the trolleybuses on line 58 from Palmovka to Miskovice (existing bus line 140). DPP received a total of three bids in the tender. The total value of the contract is CZK 220.4 million.

DPP will be the first operator of the SOR TNS 18 battery-powered articulated trolleybuses in the electric configuration from Cegelec and line 58 Palmovka – Miškovice will be the first line on which they will run. The SOR TNS 18 is a 100% low-floor battery-powered articulated trolleybus with full-car air conditioning and a transport capacity of 134 passengers – 41 seated and 95 standing. It is of course equipped with a kneeling system to lower the boarding edge and facilitate passenger boarding or a tilting platform for people with reduced mobility. It is also a fully emission-free vehicle, with heating and air conditioning powered entirely by electricity.

The trolleybuses will also be equipped with automatic passenger counting equipment, a camera system including interior monitoring, a frontal accident camera, side and reversing cameras, plus a camera scanning the trolleybus collectors. The delivery also includes an energy management system that will allow DPP to remotely monitor, control and plan charging and evaluate the operation from an energy point of view (battery status, progress of charging cycles including charging current value, checking compliance with the required range, etc.). In addition, two vehicles from the fleet will be equipped with automatic anti-icing equipment for the preventive spraying of the trolley. Their home base will be the Klíčov depot.

Warranty period for each of the new trolleybuses is 9 years (108 months), except for the traction batteries, which have a warranty period of 6 years (72 months). During this warranty period, the vehicle must be able to travel a minimum of 12 km on the traction battery with the use of heating or air conditioning under all operating and climatic conditions in the conditions of the capital city. The expected life span of the new trolleybuses is 15 years.

The price of one vehicle with complete equipment is CZK 14.549 million. Also included are 4 chargers and 7 sets of hardware and software for fault diagnosis. DPP also tendered for the supply of spare traction batteries including their replacement at a price of CZK 1.44 million each.

Construction work on Prague’s first new battery trolleybus line 58 has just begun and is scheduled to be completed by October 2022, with trial operation starting by the end of 2022 at the latest. On the steep incline of Prosecká Street, the diesel buses currently consume about 52 litres of diesel per 100 km. DPP will replace diesel buses with the emission-free battery-powered articulated trolleybuses. 11 km of the route will be newly electrified. The trolleybus “test” route opened in 2017 will be integrated into the new route 58.

SOR trolleybus no. 9506 on Prague’s test route in 2018 | © Martin Harák
An ex-Plzen Skoda 24 Tr was on in service on Prague’s test route opened in 2017 until 20 February 2021 – here a photo from the last day of operation | © Martin Harák

Technical data about the SOR TNS 18 trolleybus:

  • Manufacturer: SOR Libchavy spol. s r.o.
  • Length: 18 750 mm
  • Width: 2 550 mm
  • Wheelbase: 5 900 mm front, 6 750 mm rear
  • Total maximum weight: 29 000 kg
  • Maximum speed: 65 km/h
  • Number of axles: 3
  • Number of driven axles: 1 (rear)
  • Number of doors: 4
  • Starting height: 330 mm
  • Total number of seats: 41 (including 2 folding)
  • Total number of passengers: 134
  • Declared service life of each vehicle: 15 years
  • Guaranteed declared battery range: min. 12 km using heating or air conditioning
  • Traction electric motor power: 240 kW
  • Traction battery capacity: 106 kWh
The SOR TNS articulated trolleybus has been operating in Teplice so far, with Skoda Electric equipment – no. 221 in 2019 | © Martin Harák

The result of the tender for 20 double-articulated trolleybuses for line 119 between the airport and Nádraží Veleslavín is still pending. According to current plans, a total of seven urban and two intercity lines in the Prague area will be partially electrified and operated by battery trolleybuses. Read our report about the project here:
https://www.urban-transport-magazine.com/en/more-in-motion-charging-in-prague/ .

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