Solaris Urbino electric is Bus of the Year 2017

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The electric version of the Solaris Urbino 12 is the first battery-driven vehicle to win the Bus of the Year title. SOLARIS
The electric version of the Solaris Urbino 12 is the first battery-driven vehicle to win the Bus of the Year title. SOLARIS

Award goes to a battery-driven vehicle for first time in history of the competition

The electric version of the Solaris Urbino 12 has been named best city bus of the year 2017. It’s the first time in the history of the competition that the award has gone to a battery-driven vehicle.

This year’s competition was held in Brussels where four electric vehicles, an Irizar i2e, the Ebusco 2.1, Solaris Urbino 12 and Van Hool Exqui.City, and a CNG-fuelled Mercedes-Benz Citaro NGT competed.

The Solaris Urbino 12 electric has been equipped with 240 kWh batteries. Two charging systems have been installed in the bus: one using a pantograph, for charging during stopovers at bus stops, the other one using a plug-in for charging in the bus depot.

During the competition in Brussels the battery-powered Solaris was charged by way of a new-generation charger with a power output of 80 kW, designed and produced by Ekoenergetyka-Polska. The mobile charger of the plug-in type was connected to a post with a pantograph specially devised for this purpose. Thanks to this solution the driving range of the electric Urbino is practically unlimited says Solaris.

The line-up of contenders underlines the changes that affect modern public transport in cities nowadays. Back in 2006 the founder and owner of Solaris, Krzysztof Olszewski, exclaimed: “Diesel has died. Long live electricity.”

“Today we are proving that these visionary words have become reality. said Dr  Andreas Strecker, CEO of Solaris Bus & Coach S.A. “Our firm has been a Europe-wide leader with regards to the development of innovative electric drive vehicles for over 10 years now. We have been producing battery trolleybuses since 2001, and battery buses – since 2011. The latter are already operating in several dozen European cities. They are equipped with various types of batteries and have differing charging systems, and they can operate for up to 24 hours a day.

“The solutions applied in the vehicles depend on the expectations of our customers. We reckon that electric buses are the future of public transport in cities. Undoubtedly they will not completely replace other vehicles currently used in public transport, but they are an excellent, emission-free and noiseless supplement.”