17 Mar 2019


Berlin is planning to rebuild its old MAN diesel double deckers into zero-emission electric buses. Around 100 of those double deckers who where formerly running for the Berlin public transport company BVG are to become electric, reports Berlin media. Plans are there for a new company which can handle around 150 of those retrofits a year.

Most of these 100 double deckers are around 30 years old and are equipped with at best diesel engines at Euro 3 level. A combination of three companies want to convert all old diesel buses into electric buses. The first zero-emission vehicles are to hit the streets in 2019. The three companies are: bodybuilder Tassima, Ziehl-Abegg and service provider IAV. It is the intention to rebuild this year 25 buses and next year up to a hundred. This should all happen in a production site which is being build near to Berlin in Ragow, south of Schönefeld. The production facility should be up and running at the start of the second quarter this year in which period also the first rebuild buses are supposed to leave the factory.

The founder of Tassima has been managing director until 2006 of Gulliver's Travels, organiser of city tour business and operates nine city tour buses. Also Berlin City Tour (BCT), is involved in Tassima. BCT operates 52 diesel buses of the type SD 200 and SD 202. The SD 200 came on the market in 1973 especially for the BVG for West Berlin as the successor to the Bussing DE. Three prototypes of the SD 202 were built in 1982 and 1983 as a successor to the SD 200. But it was not until 1985 that the SD 200 came into full production. BCT had already converted three buses as research vehicles with subsidies from the Berlin Senate. Ziehl-Abegg will supply the electric drive axle, in which the electric motor and the power electronics are integrated into the wheel hubs. The Berlin IAV is responsible for system integration and engineering and apparently is developing also the batteries. The buses will be powered by a lithium-ion battery with a storage capacity of 145 kWh. The range will be a 120 kilometres, charging time on a 380 volt connection is six hours.

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