CleanTechnica has been covering Solaris for years, and now it is one of the leading electric vehicle manufacturers in Europe. 2,500 electric-powered buses have already been supplied or contracted to public transport by operators in nearly 120 European towns and cities. Transforming urban transport towards sustainable and friendly solutions for residents is a priority for Solaris. Solaris is committed to developing innovative, sustainable transport solutions that meet the needs of urban public transport operators. Its battery improvements, charging system optimizations, and hydrogen technologies help operators reduce emissions while delivering efficient, cost-effective services.
Now, Solaris has given us a peek at where it is going in the future. This year, Solaris presented two battery-powered buses at the Transexpo Fair — the Urbino 12 electric bus and the Urbino 18.75 electric bus. The former is the most popular model in its zero-emission portfolio and was selected most often by customers for its new-generation high-capacity batteries. Meanwhile, the latter classic articulated model was extended to provide more passenger space without compromising quality or comfort.
Solaris’ Most Popular Electric Offering: The Urbino 12
Solaris started off by showing off an already popular bus.
The 12-metre electric Solaris bus is nothing new to Poland or Europe. In 2016, it was named Bus of the Year, and today there are over 800 of these buses transporting people throughout European cities every day. Not only locally emission-free, this vehicle is excellent for those who prioritize a high living standard and safety in their city. With state-of-the-art design equipment aboard, this public transport system encourages more people to ditch their cars while not getting on a dirty bus.
What makes this bus noteworthy for the show this year is its new-generation, high-capacity batteries — of over 520 kWh. The Solaris High Energy batteries boast a driving range of 300 km in various weather and road conditions. There are two plug-in sockets to charge the energy storage system, one above the wheel arch and another at the front of the vehicle. The bus has an electric axle with 125 kW each for two integrated electric motors that use less energy SiC technology.
The bus’s interior is not only stylish, but also spacious, and it comes with many comfortable solutions for city dwellers: a comprehensive passenger information system, USB charging ports, and LED lamps. The blue lighting switched on at night creates an elegant atmosphere. A comprehensive video surveillance system guarantees the highest safety standards.
The MobilEye Shield+ system is designed to warn the driver of bicycles, motorcycles, and pedestrians in the blind spot. The new cameras work together with redesigned mirrors to show pictures on screens in the vehicle. This provides excellent visibility even during poor weather conditions such as rain or dusk. Additionally, this bus is equipped with a specialized dusk sensor.
The Bigger Electric Offering: The Urbino 18.75
The second vehicle shown by Solaris at Transexpo 2022 is the Urbino electric bus, which has been extended to 18.75 meters. This articulated vehicle is the second most popular among Solaris’ electric solutions. The model on display in Kielce this year is the first 4th generation with an extended body.
This bus is emission-free, has a powerful central motor for smooth acceleration and silent operation, and high-capacity batteries. Its longer body also boasts three bays for wheelchair-bound passengers and 138 seated passengers total. The manufacturer also paid attention to the interior of the bus when designing it, just like the Urbino 12, in order to make sure that passengers would have a comfortable and safe journey. In addition to features like MobilEye and cameras that replaced mirrors, the driver can use wide-angle cameras for a 360 degree view. This ensures an even higher safety and comfort level for the driver. The bus is also equipped with a dusk and rain sensor, as well as an automatic device to detect driver fatigue.
Made For Harsh Northern European Winters
This bus was designed to function in rough weather conditions and is equipped with a Scandinavian thermal insulation package. The package has extra insulation for the side walls and roof, double-glazed windows, and heating mats placed in areas like the floor and doorways. This will not only make the passengers more comfortable on cold days but also save money by reducing energy consumption. The Urbino 18.75 electric bus can also have snow chains installed, as these are typically part of the standard equipment for city buses in Scandinavia.
Outside The Bus: State Of The Art Tools
Solaris not only provides a wide variety of contemporary buses, but also offers solutions to support servicing and maintenance for any stage of operation — from preparing for servicing to adding new models to the fleet.
Solaris says it supports and advises its customers throughout the entire process of deploying alternative drive vehicles. The manufacturer helps customers with things like workshop equipment or training employees. In response to the growing demand for hydrogen-powered vehicles, Solaris has developed a set of best practices for servicing these types of vehicles.
Not only do we want to help our customers deploy hydrogen vehicles in an effective way, but more importantly, ensure their safety while servicing these types of cars. Solaris offers professional advisory services to not just our existing customers, but also other companies who might be interested in purchasing Urbino buses.
Solaris gives potential customers the ability to service their vehicles by providing platforms such as eSConnect to monitor their fleet, analyze data, and so on. This makes it easier for them to access documents, drawings, and information on spare parts.
Solaris showed off a new addition to its tools portfolio with the addition of eSSyncroService — a new solution that uses augmented reality for bus repairs. By wearing special goggles, technicians can access voice-activated technical documents hands-free.
The use of augmented reality (AR) technology in servicing buses can be extremely beneficial. By using AR, Solaris experts can remotely contact technicians and lead them through repairs step-by-step. This shortens the amount of time the vehicle is unavailable for use. Additionally, eSSyncroService requires employees to confirm that they have taken all necessary precautions, which increases their safety.
Finally, at the Transexpo Fair, Solaris exhibited its Optiline products, which are a selection of original Solaris spare parts. These solutions have been well-received by customers and has resulted in increased market share for Solaris. In 2021, Optiline brake pads were one of the most popular items in Solaris’ purchased portfolio and made up 83% of all brake pads supplied to customers.
All images supplied by Solaris.
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