Opole & Solaris Are Putting Even More Electric Buses On Polish Roads

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Opole is a city located in southern Poland, on the Oder River. It’s the historical capital of Upper Silesia, and today it has a population of around 127,000. Opole is the capital of Opole Voivodeship (that’s Polish for “province”) and the seat of Opole County. Even though it’s the smallest city in Poland, it’s still the largest city in its province. But its small size doesn’t mean they don’t have big dreams, and those dreams just got a little greener.

According to a recent press release, Opole’s public transport operator Miejski Zakład Komunikacyjny (aka “MZK”) just signed a contract with Solaris Bus & Coach to receive eight e-buses. This is great news for the environment and consistent with Opole’s investment in emission-less public transport vehicles. MZK’s e-buses in Opole are top of the line city buses that come with a wealth of features. The 12-meter bus can hold up to 75 passengers, 28 seated, while the articulated 18-meter bus will be able carry 110 people, 36 seated.

Opole’s buses come standard with features that include a passenger information system with voice announcements, electronic destination blinds, and a ticket vending machine. In addition, there will be USB charging ports and disinfectant dispensers mounted on handrails for the passengers’ comfort. Furthermore, air conditioning with a heat pump has been installed to ensure thermal comfort in both hot and cold weather.

They also come with some cool safety features. The air-conditioning unit will have UV technology to kill viruses. To ensure the driver and passengers are safe, there will be a Mobileye Shield+ system installed on the bus exterior with cameras to give the driver better visibility. The CMS (Collision Mitigation System) has been designed to automatically put the vehicle into braking mode if it detects head-on collision is likely.

The new buses will feature energy-efficient batteries and a central electric motor. They can be quickly charged during the day by lowered pantograph, or at night using a standard plug-in connection.

What’s more, the e-buses headed for Opole will have a preconditioning function during charging. This will not only lengthen the driving range, but also cut down on the time needed to start up the bus and reach an optimal temperature for passengers. They also have regenerative braking.

Solaris Bus & Coach first partnered with the city of Opole in 2019 when it placed an order for 10 low-floor Urbino 12 buses. In 2021, the partnership was extended to include zero-emission drives after the city ordered 5 e-buses along with charging infrastructure. After completion of the latest order, Opole will boast a fleet of 13 electric buses.

Solaris Bus & Coach has been one of the leading city bus manufacturers in Poland for over 19 years, supplying a total of over 7000 vehicles, including 550 e-buses.

Featured image: from the left: Waldemar Wlazło, Regional Sales Director, Southwestern Poland , Solaris Bus & Coach sp. z o.o., Andrzej Sienkiewicz, Sales Director, Poland, Solaris Bus & Coach sp. z o.o., Arkadiusz Wiśniewski, Mayor of Opole, Małgorzata Stelnicka, Vice Mayor of Opole, Tadeusz Stadnicki, CEO, MZK sp. z o.o. in Opole, Łukasz Wach, Board Member, MZK sp. z o.o. in Opole. Image provided by Solaris and MZK.

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Jennifer Sensiba

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to get off the beaten path in her "Bolt EAV" and any other EVs she can get behind the wheel or handlebars of with her wife and kids. You can find her on Twitter here, Facebook here, and YouTube here.

Jennifer Sensiba has 1951 posts and counting. See all posts by Jennifer Sensiba