SIX EU-FUNDED ELECTRIC BUSES ENTER OPERATION IN BONN
Two out of six electric buses subsidized from the EU funds will soon start operation in the Bonn bus network in the test mode. Ashok Sridharan, the Mayor of Bonn, and Heinz Jürgen Reining, Managing Director of SWB Nahverkehrsgesellschaft SWB bus and train, inaugurated a demonstration project ZeEUS (Zero Emission Urban Bus Systems) in Bonn. The ZeEUS project, co-funded by the European Union, encompasses ten European cities, in which suitainability and cost-effectiveness of electric buses are examined and compared to diesel buses.
Stadtwerke Bonn had been awarded the contract to participate in the project with six buses at the end of 2013. Following a Europe-wide tender for the manufacturer, Bozanskaya Sileo, based in Salzgitter, received a contract to supply the vehicles. "We have already tested five buses of various manufacturers in Bonn in recent years and gained a lot of valuable experience. Now we have bought e-buses for the first time. We hope that they will fulfill the technical requirements and receive positive feedback from our passengers," said Heinz Jürgen Reining, Manager of SWB Verkehrs GmbH.
For years the Stadtwerke Bonn has intensively dealt with the topic of electric mobility and the use of electric buses in Bonn’s transport. In 2013, the Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems had confirmed in a feasibility study that according to the prior art, the entire bus network except the Bonn Airport bus is suitable for the use of electric buses and that a change of the entire bus network by about 2030 would be technically possible. In contrast to the business strategy in many other public transport companies, alternating current charging of the batteries in the route network of Bonn will be omitted. The purchase of electric buses, however, was still hindered by the higher cost compared to conventional diesel vehicles. With the financial support from the project ZeEUS the decision was made much easier for the purchase of electric buses.
Within the EU demonstration project ZeEUS, coordinated by the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) in Brussels, Bonn tests the electric buses next to nine other European cities: Barcelona, Cagliari, London, Münster, Paris, Pilsen, Randstad, Stockholm and Warsaw. ZeEUS gathers 40 partners, including the Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems. The EU funding for the project amounts to 13.5 million euros. More than 500,000 euros will go to Bonn.
The project findings will be collected until 2017 and focus on the sustainability and efficiency of electric buses in direct comparison to diesel buses, but also "soft factors", such as customer satisfaction, comfort and reliability are incorporated into the rating.
The Bonner electric bus is a 12-meter standard bus and with capacity to transport 80 passengers. Before the first line will enter service with passengers, the drivers will undergo a training on the new vehicles and the newly installed charging technology. All six buses will stay in operation in the Bonn bus network, also after the end of the project.
The buses are of the type Bozanskaya Sileo S12, capacity 38 seats (including the driver.), 42 standing places, usable cargo capacity of the battery: 230 kW hours, The rangeper charge is more than 200 km. Maximum speed 75 km/h. Electric drive by ZF features two 85 kW motors close to the tyres in the rear axle. The test vehicle is driven in Bonn with the SWB green power produced by Bonn Naturstrom. The product carries the “green power” certificate awarded by the environmental organisations and consists of 100 % renewable energy sources. The six new buses in Bonn are driven by this 100% CO2 neutral power source.