Munich to trial Ebusco electrics

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GERMANY Energy company Stadtwerke München (SWM) and the Munich Transport Company (MVG) have procured two Ebusco electric buses for long-term evaluation.

The Dutch supplier secured the order as a result of a European tender and funding is coming from Munich City Council as part of an action programme called IHFEM.

The two 12-meter buses are largely identical: both use lithium-iron phosphate batteries with a capacity of around 300kW/h for energy storage and recharging of the batteries takes place overnight at the depot. Each has a range of around 300kms, which Ebusco says equates to the daily driving performance of a bus on the MVG network.

However, in addition to electric heating one of the two buses has a conventional diesel heater so that the heat energy requirement for that does not reduce battery capacity and so restrict the vehicle’s range. The significant energy consumption used for heating the passenger compartment during cold weather has been one of the biggest obstacles to the reliable use of electric buses in Munich.

“We will initially use the buses from mid-2016 on our route 100 between the centre and Ostbahnhof and compare one directly with other,” said MVG CEO Herbert King. “Ultimately, the two buses have to provide proof that they can achieve the ranges required for widespread use across the network. Only in this way can we obtain the required flexibility in the use of vehicles in the future.”

SWM and MVG have been testing hybrid buses since 2008. Six different electric buses have also been tested for a few weeks at a time since 2013. All six have been effective in everyday test. However, ranges specified by the manufacturers have not usually been achieved.