13 Sep 2019


The Hamburger Hochbahn in Germany plans to purchase up to 530 zero-emission buses in the period from 2021 to 2025. to achieve this it has issued tenders for a corresponding framework agreement. It starts in 2021 and 2022 as the public transport operator will be purchasing significantly more than 100 electric buses. This includes 50 electric articulated buses with a length of 18 meters. By the end of 2022, the complete electric bus fleet will comprise more than 160 vehicles.

From the beginning of 2020 Hochbahn will order exclusively emission-free powered vehicles. The conversion of the entire fleet of currently 1,000 vehicles, should take place in ten years and be finalized at the end of the next decade. The conversion to emission-free buses entails additional financial expense. For these investments the Hochbahn is aiming for a pro-rated funding by the federal government.

An important criteria for the vehicles is and remains the

range. The tender mentions manufacturers have to ensure a range of 200 kilometres for their solo buses. The prescribed range for the first tendered articulated buses is 150 kilometres due to the higher weight of the vehicle.

The tender provides for ‘depot loading’. However, Hochbahn welcomes offers which also allow opportunity charging in order to increase the range. Hochbahn states it has already gained experience with both charging methods in the past. Since 2018 it has several electric buses in use which are loaded exclusively at the depot but also vehicles which are fast charged via pantographs during the operation.

In addition, Hochbahn offers the strategic option of covering even longer ranges with the help of hydrogen and or fuel cells as ‘range extender’. It will soon initiate an open qualification system for the procurement of fuel cell buses. It also emphasizes in the tender announcement that it is important to take the entire life cycle assessment into consideration. Hochbahn will therefore include sustainability standards in its contracts with suppliers and business partners.

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