Electric buses are perfect for municipalities. They are cheaper to operate and maintain than diesel buses and they emit no pollutants. For passengers, they’re great because they’re comfortable, soft, and relatively quiet. But, even ten years ago, they were almost unknown. Battery prices have come down significantly in recent years, making electric buses a more viable option for many transit agencies.
It’s no surprise, then, that sales of electric buses have exploded as prices have plummeted and made them the best choice in most circumstances. In 2012, only 15 electric buses were put into service in European cities. In 2021, one in four newly registered buses in Western Europe was electric. Now they are showing up everywhere in greater numbers.
Solaris recently signed a contract for its 2,000th electric bus, and the company says it thinks that means it’s on the right track.
“We have a long history of investing in e-mobility: designing new electric bus models, developing electric propulsion technologies and supporting initiatives to move towards zero-emission transport. Right from the start, we emphasized that this was the right direction for the development of modern urban transport systems. Today, electric buses manufactured by Solaris are an integral part of daily life for residents of over 100 European cities, and that makes us extremely proud. We are grateful for each of these 2000 orders, and we would also like to thank our employees for the work they have put into the design, manufacture and maintenance of the vehicles,” said Javier Calleja, CEO of Solaris Bus & Coach.
Orders for these incredible 2,000 zero-emission Urbino electric vehicles have been placed by transporters from more than 140 municipalities in 21 European countries. More than 1,300 from this pool have already arrived, and they are helping to improve public transport. This year or in the future, another 700 electric cars will be produced. Urbino electric vehicles facilitate modern and environmentally friendly transport in cities like Berlin, Bolzano, Brussels, Cluj-Napoca, Krakow, Landshut, Madrid, Milan, Oslo, Paris, Warsaw and Venice, among others.
Solaris began its battery-powered journey in 2011, when the company’s first 8.9-meter Urbino electric bus was launched. The Urbino 12 electric bus has been produced since 2012. In 2013, the bi-articulated Urbino 18 electric bus was unveiled. In 2019, a platform for the bi-articulated electric Urbino 24 was created, and in 2020 the electric Urbino 15 LE was introduced as Solaris’ first intercity e-bus. The latest Solaris electric bus made its debut in 2021: the electric Urbino 9 LE.
Today, Solaris produces about 1500 buses each year. Electric drives account for about half of the company’s current production. For several years, the share of alternative energy in the shopping queue has been increasing, demonstrating that more and more cities are embracing zero-emission transportation. The transition to an electric bus industry has taken place, with 2000 Solaris e-buses already delivered and sold.
The company says what got it to this point is its bespoke approach to selling electric buses. Instead of selling just a few electric bus models, Solaris works with municipalities and transit companies to build a bus that meets local needs and works great on local routes. With all the guesswork removed, municipalities can be confident that the buses will work perfectly for the places they will be used.
Image courtesy of Solaris.
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