The Polish city of Kraków (Cracow as many write or say it in English) ordered 50 electric buses from the Polish bus company Solaris last year. Those buses are now beginning to get delivered.
The city already had 28 electric buses, among 366 other non-electric Solaris buses. So, Kraków has been getting into the electric spirit for a while, but it also has a large number of polluting buses to retire and replace with electric ones.
In addition to the new electric buses, Solaris has supplied the city’s mass transit operator, MPK SA, with 50 chargers for these buses. Though, traditional wall chargers aren’t the only way these buses will be able to download electricity. “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.”
“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.
The buses will provide seating for 43 passengers, and 141 passengers can be fit into the bus overall. They use 300 kWh batteries from Solaris.
“Additional equipment will include a complete video surveillance system, a comprehensive passenger information system, air-conditioning, USB ports and an electrical heating system.”
Kraków is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. After years of travel and living in Europe for more than a decade, Kraków ended up in my top 3 for top cities to visit (in the summer). It’s uplifting to see that the beautiful, historic city is getting cleaner with these electric buses. Now, if only it could plaster the roofs of the city’s many buildings with solar panels quickly as well in order to cut back on high levels of truly harmful and deadly air pollution from coal power plants and heating systems.
If you’re in the area or know it and want to know the specifics of where these Solaris electric buses are operating, here’s more info: “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.” It’s unclear at the moment how many of the 50 “Urbino 18” electric buses have been delivered, but there are 12 in the picture at the top.