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Riga Soon Getting Its First Solaris E-Buses

Rīgas Satiksme, a Latvian carrier, has made another advancement toward e-mobility. Soon, Riga’s bus fleet will welcome its first Solaris electric buses. The contract is for the delivery of 35 “Urbino 12” electric buses, with an option to add an additional 17 buses. The basic contract has a total value of more than €19 million and should be completed within a year.

“We have been collaborating with Rīgas Satiksme for over 20 years now. Meanwhile, we have delivered almost 600 of our vehicles to Riga. I am extremely proud that our company can be part of the history of public transport in this city, in particular as the beginnings of our e-mobility path in the Latvian capital date back to 2001, when the first Trollino trolleybus rolled onto the streets of the city. E-mobility is, no doubt, the future of transport, and the zero-emission buses that will soon join the local fleet will bring numerous tangible benefits to the city’s residents,” said Olivier Michard, member of the management of Solaris Bus & Coach sp. z o.o. for sales, marketing and after sales.

The new buses are the company’s signature zero-emission models and are well known in Europe. The 140 kWh Solaris High Energy batteries in the low-floor 12-meter vehicles will be charged utilizing both an inverted pantograph and a plug-in connector. The driver’s panel will show the battery charge level and the remaining distance in kilometers. A central traction motor will serve as Urbino electric’s primary source of propulsion.

The buses, which have a minimum seating capacity of 72 passengers, will have a number of innovations to improve the comfort of both drivers and passengers. One of these will be an alcolock that will periodically test the driver’s breathalyzer prior to ignition. The interior of the bus will be equipped with advanced passenger communication technology, air conditioning, and cameras that can monitor the interior and the area around the bus. The enclosed driver’s compartment will also include a heated seat, and the driver will always be aware of the number of passengers onboard thanks to an automatic passenger-counting system. The buses will be outfitted with USB charging connections and LED lighting for the convenience of the passengers.

The buses will incorporate a technology known as thermal pre-conditioning to optimize energy use. This feature enables the interior of the bus to be simultaneously warmed or cooled down, depending on the season, while the battery is recharging. As a result, the bus will be ready in terms of temperature when it departs from the bus station to guarantee a comfortable ride.

The buses will also feature an eSConnect system for managing zero-emission bus fleets effectively. This program, created by Solaris professionals, includes features like real-time access to vehicle data and the ability to detect defects as they arise.

Latvia has been a top market for Solaris for decades. The first Solaris trolleybuses were added to Riga’s fleet more than 20 years ago. Since then, 560 Solaris vehicles have been delivered to the nation’s capital, including more than 160 Trollinos and 10 with a highly advanced hydrogen range extender. Riga will soon become the third city in Latvia to have Solaris e-buses running frequently. Six battery-powered Solaris buses already travel the streets of Jelgava and the beach town of Jrmala.

One great thing about these Solaris electric buses other than being a clean zero-emission mode of public transportation is the fact they come equipped with an alcolock acting as a breathalyzer for the driver. This should be standard on all public transportation all over the world and would be a great way for the electric transport sector to take it up a notch. This should be a standard feature.

Featured photo courtesy of Solaris.

 
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Written By

Tim holds an electronics engineering degree and is working toward a second degree in IT/web development. He enjoys renewable energy topics and has a passion for the environment. He is a part-time writer and web developer, full time husband and father.

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