An urban revolution

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Voyages Emile Weber in Luxemburg launched three of these Hess AG bi-artic light trams in March 2015. KEN GRINDROD
Voyages Emile Weber in Luxemburg launched three of these Hess AG bi-artic light trams in March 2015. KEN GRINDROD

LUXEMBURG Voyages Emile Weber (VEW) unveiled its latest 24.5m Hess AG bi-artic hybrid electric ‘light trams’ last year. Three buses with traction equipment supplied by Vossloh Kiepe were introduced to City of Luxemburg route 16 in March, 2015 and follow two earlier bi-artics from the same manufacturer delivered in 2009.

Operated on behalf of the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, the buses have been branded by VEW as UREVO for Urban Revolution and a dedicated website provides additional information about them.

According to the vehicles GPS location, it will switch its diesel engine off and run 100% in electric mode. The maximum distance it can do this is 4km, but on service 16 it takes place between Route de Thionville and the Grand Duchess Charlotte Bridge. While the roof-mounted lithium-ion batteries are recharged overnight, they’re also topped up while in diesel-powered mode ad by the brake energy recovery system.

The 24.5m-long, five-door buses have a gross vehicle weight of 39 tonnes. Carrying capacity is 190, a combination of 60 seats and 130 standees.