The first of the order of 30 new e-buses from the Chariot Motors – Higer consortium inaugurated service in the city of Sofia today.
The Metropolitan Municipality Deputy Mayor Transport, Kristiyan Krastev, attended the inauguration, stating that Sofia public transport fleet rollover continued, the 30 new e-buses bringing Sofiyski Gradski Elektrotransport electric bus numbers up to 45.
The new fast-charging 12m long vehicles are made by the Higer Bus Company and are powered by industry-leading innovative ultracapacitors by Aowei.
Ultracapacitor e-buses need no overnight charging. Their final fast charge from the previous day is sufficient to power the e-bus the following morning without overnight charge. Frequent charge/discharge cycles do not affect UC longevity. Ultracapacitors have proved themselves robust, environmentally friendly, and safer than batteries on these indicators. They present no fire risk and retain performance in temperature extremes between -40 and 60°C. They have no harmful or toxic components, presenting no pollution hazard and harbour no hidden end-of-life disposal costs.
The e-buses are comfortable, air-conditioned, low-floored, equipped with push-chair ramps and a stop button for getting off, as well as acoustic signals for blind people. Amenities include double USB outlets next to each seat allowing passengers to charge mobile devices, if necessary.
The new e-buses using the modern ultracapacitor technology are charged within five or six minutes, which is enough for a 20km trip.
The Sofia municipality announced that eight of the new e-buses would enter service on the No 6 route between Geo Milev Bus Station and German Village, and the temporary No E20T route which covers the No 20 tram route while maintenance works are in progress.
As the 30 new e-buses arrive, they will update the Nos 60, 74, and 73 public transport routes in the coming months.
The order for 30 new low-floor fast-charging e-buses and 10 new charging stations is part of a project Action to Boost Ambient Air Quality in Sofia Municipality by Purchasing and Commissioning Electric Road Transport Vehicles: E-Buses and Trolleybuses under Operational programme Environment 2014-2020 implemented with the assistance of the European Union Cohesion Fund.
The project is entirely financed under procedure No BG16M1OP002-5.004 Measures Addressing Transport as a Source of Air Pollution under the Operational Programme’s Priority Axis 5 Improving Ambient Air Quality.