Electric Bus News Roundup

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Electric buses continue to expand globally, and two recent announcements from electric bus companies in the United States and Germany prove it. Let’s take a look at each of them!

The US Capitol Is Getting 5 More Electric Buses

Nova Bus, a member of the Volvo Group and leading North American transit bus manufacturer, has been awarded a contract for five LFSe+ battery-electric buses from Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro).

The company’s five buses are the 40-foot long-range model from Nova Bus and will be assembled at the Nova Bus facility in Plattsburgh, New York. This order is part of Metro’s Battery-Electric Bus Test and Evaluation program.

Metro has laid out an ambitious goal of transitioning its fleet of over 1,500 buses to 100% zero-emission by 2045 with an interim goal of all new buses entering service being zero-emission by 2030. In order to meet these goals, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has launched a pilot program that includes five Nova Bus LFSe+ battery-electric buses which will provide the data and knowledge needed for scaling their transition plan.

“Every such order for the Nova Bus LFSE+ is a major strategic win, demonstrating the performance and quality of this innovative vehicle in yet another major metro region,” said Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce. “It is especially welcome that these buses, crafted by our great workforce in Plattsburgh, New York, will be seen on the streets of our nation’s capital. It’s another step into a bright future for our region’s transportation equipment makers. Congratulations to everyone at Nova Bus and to Metro for a great decision. Onward and upward!”

With its electric drive motor featuring BAE Systems’ next-generation power electronics and a focus on efficiency, Nova Bus LFSe+ is the perfect long-range electric bus for achieving zero emission transportation. Not only does it reduce maintenance costs and improve air quality by eliminating all emission of pollutants and greenhouse gases, but it also showcases Nova Bus’s proven expertise coupled with the latest innovations in clean and sustainable technologies — making it an ideal solution for transitioning to sustainable public transport.

“We are absolutely thrilled that Metro will be integrating the Nova Bus LFSe+ into its electric bus pilot program,” said Ralph Acs, President of Nova Bus. “We are also happy that these buses will be operating in federal Opportunity Zones, as low-income communities are the ones that will benefit the most from this transition to clean, quiet, and reliable electric buses. We are excited for Metro to experience the LFSe+ and to work with the team to support the agency’s successful transition to a zero-emission bus fleet.”

A Bigger Deal in Germany

VHH (a local public transit provider in Germany) has taken a big step towards providing local, emission-free public transport with the purchase of 95 Mercedes-Benz eCitaro/eCitaro G buses. These fully electrically powered vehicles are expected to be delivered in waves ending by 2028, with the first one scheduled by the end of this year. This marks a significant milestone in their mission to provide sustainable and clean transportation solutions in Hamburg and Holstein.

VHH is already ahead of the curve, with a total of 37 eCitaros and eCitaro G buses in its fleet. Following the start of series introduction in 2020, the additional 132 all-electric and low-floor buses bearing the star now on order brings the total to an impressive 169 — an excellent indication of commitment to providing sustainable and clean transportation solutions.

“Hamburg is one of Europe’s capital cities for our eCitaro,” Mirko Sgodda proudly said about the major order in his role as the Head of Sales, Marketing and Customer Services at Daimler Buses. “We would like to thank VHH for the confidence they have in our product and the major follow-up order.”

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These state-of-the art vehicles feature the latest battery technology with high performance NMC3 batteries providing an energy capacity of 490 kWh for the solo bus and 588 kWh for the articulated bus — ensuring a practical range without intermediate charging. Charging sockets on both left and right at the height of the front wheel arches offer depot charging flexibility.

The 95 eCitaros in the VHH fleet feature the latest safety equipment, such as Preventive Brake Assist, Sideguard Assist, and Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS). As a standard, these buses boast anti-roll protection, ESP Electronic Stability Program in solo buses and anti-jackknifing protection ATC (Articulation Turntable Controller) for articulated buses — all of which combine to provide the safest experience possible, per the company.

Passenger comfort is also top-of-mind for VHH with its order. Their friendly interiors feature wood-look floors and upholstered City Star Function seats from VHH’s production. Passengers with limited mobility are provided one or three dedicated zones (solo bus/articulated bus respectively) for wheelchairs and strollers. Dual USB charging sockets at each seat, in addition to TFT screens in a luxurious 29-inch format provide passengers with information and entertainment on board. The buses also equip passenger counting systems to ensure a pleasant journey for all who travel in them.

There’s still a lot of room to grow. VHH operates 170 routes throughout the Hamburg metropolitan region, providing public transportation for more than 62 million passengers per year. With over 2,300 employees and 670 buses located at 17 sites, VHH is the second largest public transportation company in northern Germany. The fleet covers 34 million kilometers (21 million miles) annually, consisting primarily of low-emission Mercedes-Benz Citarios and locally emission-free eCitaros—both available as either solo or articulated buses.

To accomplish more growth of electrification and make it visible to the public that relies on it, they’re relying on their Elixity brand.

VHH is committed to providing sustainable mobility, from infrastructure at depots to specially trained staff and vehicles running on 100% green electricity. Since 2020, VHH has been investing in locally emission-free buses for use in Hamburg’s urban area with the goal of achieving a zero-emission fleet by the 2030s. This commitment reinforces VHH as one of Germany’s leading proponents of efficient public transportation.

Why This Matters

These electric bus stories might not look like the most exciting stories CleanTechnica covers, but it’s part of a long story that adds up to big environmental improvements. A bus here, a few dozen there, and pretty soon you’re talking about a lot of electric buses!

Featured image provided by Daimler Bus.

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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 1984 posts and counting. See all posts by Jennifer Sensiba