Solaris Bus & Coach has started to execute a contract signed in May last year for the supply of 50 Urbino 18 electric buses for Cracow. The manufacturer has already delivered the first articulated e-buses units and they will operate on bus line no. 179.
The official handover of the buses was attended by Jacek Majchrowski, mayor of Cracow, representatives of Cracow public transport operator MPK SA, and those of Solaris. These new e-buses have joined a fleet of 394 Solaris buses, including 28 e-buses, some of which rolled out onto the streets of Cracow back in 2016.
“We have been investing in zero-emission buses for many years now. Cracow was the first Polish city to launch, in 2014, a regular bus line serviced by electric buses. Cracow was also the first large city in Poland to withdraw all buses equipped with engines compliant with Euro 4 standard and below. Following the completion of the delivery of the 50 Solaris buses, around mid-year, the residents of the city will have a total of nearly 80 zero-emission vehicles at their disposal”, said Jacek Majchrowski, the mayor of Cracow.
“We will definitely continue to order environmentally friendly buses. At the beginning of the year we applied for funding to purchase another 40 articulated e-buses under the Green Public Transport programme. Should our application be approved, zero-emission vehicles will shortly make up 20% of our fleet”, noted Rafał Świerczyński, CEO of MPK SA in Cracow.
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Together with the ordered vehicles, Solaris has delivered 50 plug-in charging devices to the municipal carrier. The construction of each bus will also allow for slow charging by means of a pantograph. This is a novel solution that aims to use the bus depot area in the most efficient way possible. It will also be possible to recharge buses via a fast charging pantograph. Charging stations of that type are already available at the Wola Duchacka and Podgórze bus depots, close to the bus terminus at Pawia street and at the Dworzec Główny Wschód (Main Railway Station East), os. Podwawelskie, Biały Prądnik, and Nowy Bieżanów bus termini.
“The determination of the city of Cracow to enhance zero-emission transport is impressive. We are very glad that Solaris can be part of this process, which is of enormous importance not only for passengers, but also for all residents. We believe that modern transport should be quiet, clean and safe and the recently delivered Urbino units fulfil all these criteria“, said Mateusz Figaszewski, E-mobility Development & Market Intelligence Director at Solaris Bus & Coach Sp. z o.o.
The energy storage system in the new buses will consist of Solaris High Energy batteries with a total capacity of over 300 kWh. The model ordered by the carrier will provide space for 141 passengers, including 43 people seated. Additional equipment will include a complete video surveillance system,
a comprehensive passenger information system, air-conditioning, USB ports and an electrical heating system.
Right after their handover, the new buses were assigned to service line no. 179 (Os. Kurdwanów – Dworzec Główny Zachód (Main Railway Station West)), running along the three bards’ avenues (Juliusz Słowacki Avenue, Adam Mickiewicz Avenue, and Zygmunt Krasiński Avenue), i. e. in a region of the city where air pollution limits are exceeded the most.
Cracow operator MPK was granted ca. 110 million zloties in funding from the EU, under the Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment for the years 2014-2020, for the purchase of the vehicles.