The Danish Municipality of Roskilde is taking a step into the future with the announcement that all 20 of the buses serving all of its municipal bus lines will be electric starting in April 2019 after the city council voted on the matter. The milestone move makes the Roskilde Municipality the first in Denmark to convert its fleet to fully electric buses.
Roskilde Municipality road manager Ivar Hyldebrand shared that the new electric bus solution is roughly the same cost of the operation of its old fleet of diesel buses, without even taking into account the costly impacts of diesel air pollution in cities, making the fleet upgrade a win for public health without having to pay extra for the buses themselves. Ingenioren quoted him as saying that, “it ended up very beautiful to land at the price it already cost.”
Noise was also a significant factor in converting to electric buses for the Municipality. “We have discussed other possibilities, but it should be electricity, and that’s because the noise is really important, and it emits electric buses much less,” says Ivan Hyllested Pedersen. The reduction in urban noise pollution was immediately apparent on a recent trip the author took to Shenzhen, China, where more than 16,000 electric buses have replaced their diesel predecessors. It felt, sounded, and smelled like a much smaller city, but still maintained all of the transit infrastructure required to move around its 12.5 million residents.
In Roskilde, the cost picture was further improved with the 10-year warranty included with the Yutong buses, compared to the 6-year warranty on the current fleet of diesel buses. In support of the new fleet, the company servicing the fleet, Umove East, will construct a new maintenance depot focused on the skills and equipment required for the new electric buses along with new charging stations for the buses.
The city initially thought it would need to install charging stations along routes across the city, which would have been an expensive capital expenditure up front and hindered the purchase. After studying the buses from Yutong, they realized that remote chargers would not be necessary and that the buses could handle their routes with the charge received from the depot, which came as a relief.
The new electric buses will come from the world’s largest manufacturer of battery electric buses, Yutong. Yutong is based in Zhengzhou, China, and produces electric buses for customers around the world.
The new electric buses will be used exclusively after a hard cutover in April 2019, but there are still reservations with diving into electric vehicles without a safety net. The company servicing the fleet, Umove East, has reserved the right to retain and to utilize diesel buses as a backup in the event of unforeseen issues with the new electric fleet in the first two years. Roskilde Municipality road manager Ivan Hyldebrand shared that, “hopefully the diesel buses will not come in at all, but if there are electric buses that break down or if everything does not even slip from the start, then they have to use diesel buses to a limited extent in the emergency situation.”
The transit operator for the Roskilde Municipality, Movia, had been testing electric vehicles and after its analysis, it supported the transition to a fully electric fleet. “It is an area that constantly moves. But there has been a period when electricity has been the forefront as a new solution. Therefore, it has been the recommendation at the time, both because of our experience from electrical technology testing and the lower price level,” said Jeppe Gaard, Movia’s contract manager.
Hat tip to Bjarki Gyldenkærne Dalsgarð for sharing the news with us via Facebook.
Source: Ingenioren via Google Translate
Images courtesy: Yutong
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