August 13th, 2020 by Guest Contributor
Even though the last half year brought about many difficulties and challenges for Europe, all sparked by the coronavirus pandemic, Solaris managed to use the past few months very productively. It was an extremely busy time, in particular with regard to the performance of contracts for the delivery of electric buses in Poland.
Solaris delivered its first electric bus in Poland in 2015. Today over 150 of these zero-emission vehicles cruise the streets of 20 Polish cities. Another over 300 vehicles are currently in production or shortly before delivering. In the coming months the Solaris electric buses fleet in Poland will grow to 490 vehicles in 33 cities. And new contracts are being signed.
Ostrołęka was the leader of this transformation towards electric mobility, as they were the first to order electric buses from Solaris. The first electric buses though appeared in the streets of Jaworzno. Today the fleet of the public transport carrier PKM in Jaworzno comprises 23 electric buses manufactured by Solaris. Further 20 are in production.
The following cities have already chosen the Solaris state-of-the-art electric buses, featuring advanced batteries and innovative safety systems and delivered with comprehensive after sales services: Bełchatów, Bielany, Bolesławiec, Chodzież, Ciechanów, Godzianów, Gręboszów, Inowrocław, Jaworzno, Katowice, Konin, Kozienice, Kraków, Kutno, Lublin, Łomianki, Malbork, Miechów, Ostrołęka, Ostróda, Ostrów Wielkopolski, Oświęcim, Poznań, Radom, Rzeszów, Sochaczew, Sosnowiec, Stalowa Wola, Szczecin, Szczytno, Toruń, Tychy, Warszawa, Włocławek and Września.
We shouldn’t forget Gdynia which has been developing its emission-free trolleybus transport network on a big scale for years, and recently welcomed super-trolleybuses to its fleet, i.e. Solaris Trollino, featuring traction batteries of the type mounted on electric buses, recharged from the overhead line. This is how Solaris paved the way for public transport transformation in Poland.
“It’s a great pleasure and honour for us to fill each and every order, irrespective of whether we deliver only one 8.9-metre electric bus or 130 Urbino 18 electric buses, as it is the case now for Warsaw. We can be proud, as any decision by local governments to purchase this type of vehicle is a step towards cleaner air and higher standard of living in Polish cities,” says Javier Calleja, CEO of Solaris Bus & Coach S.A.
In parallel to carrying out contracts, the company is happy about the decisions of further local authorities and the representatives of municipal transport carriers to move towards electric mobility. In the past months Solaris signed many significant contracts for the delivery of modern electric buses to Polish cities. The biggest orders were placed by Lublin, Cracow, Poznań and Katowice. It is worth noting that all of these cities had used Urbino vehicles before. Thus, decisions to purchase new vehicles were spurred by direct experience in using these vehicles.
At the beginning of May the public transport operator ZTM in Lublin commissioned the bus maker from Bolechowo to manufacture 12 Solaris Urbino electric buses that would join the 15 Trollino trolleybuses and 20 e-buses of 12 metres ordered last year.
Moreover, the Cracow operator MPK Kraków also opted for more electric vehicles, namely 50 Urbino 18 electric buses. Apart from a considerable number of articulated electric buses, 50 plug-in charging devices were ordered. Cracow has yet again opted for Solaris buses, since there are already 400 Urbino vehicles, including 26 Urbino electric, which cruise along the streets of the city.
The operator MPK in Poznań where passengers have been benefiting from 21 comfortable Solaris e-buses for a few months now, placed an order for a batch of 37 electric-drive buses. 31 of these are Urbino 12 electric buses, and 6 are 18-metre articulated buses.
More electric Solaris buses will also be delivered to Katowice. In June the representatives of the public transport carrier (PKM) signed a contract for five Urbino 12 electric buses, and then at the beginning of August – for 5 Solaris articulated electric buses. Following the completion of the latest order 20 modern, emission-free electric buses in total will be cruising the streets of the capital of the Silesia region. Moreover, two electric blood collection buses cruise along the streets of Katowice. Solaris manufactured them for the Regional Blood Donation and Blood Treatment Centre and they are the first of this type in the world.
The sales of electric buses in Europe is growing dynamically, and Poland is the 5th Member State of the European Union for the number of electric buses in cities. It is indeed a very important market for the Polish manufacturer. The share of Solaris e-buses in the Polish electric fleet is clearly dominant: they account for 76% of the whole e-bus fleet. Only in 2019 as much as 98% of electric buses orders in Poland were placed with Solaris.
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