Solaris and Kiepe Electric are the winning bidders in a tender held by operator Stadtwerke Solingen GmbH (SWS) in Germany. Pursuant to this commission, the manufacturer will deliver 16 state-of-the-art Trollino 12 trolleybuses. This means that, including previous deliveries, a total of 36 trolleybuses of the Solaris Trollino make will be deployed on the streets of Solingen.
In line with the provisions of the offer submitted by a consortium of Solaris and German driveline producer Kiepe Electric, the commission will be divided into two batches. The first 8 trolleybuses will be delivered in 2021, the second part of the order is to arrive by the end of 2023. At the same time, Solaris is working on the completion of an order for 16 articulated trolleybuses for this German operator.
“Our goal is to continuously improve the quality of life and transport in Solingen. For years, SWS has been investing successively in new vehicles and replacing combustion engines with quiet and emission-free electric drives. Thanks to the procurement of 16 new Solaris Trollino 12 trolleybuses, city traffic in Solingen will be even safer and more comfortable” says Conrad Troullier, CEO of Stadtwerke Solingen GmbH.
“We bear witness to an extraordinary dynamic of modifications regarding the exchange of fleets of more and more European operators, for Solaris-made ultra-modern vehicles that limit the impact of transport on the environment. Next to electric and hydrogen buses, trolleybuses are a crucial item in our zero-emission portfolio. The experience stemming from the production of 1600 vehicles of this type has been once again appreciated by SWS which has once more opted for our trolleybuses and for an investment in the improvement of the life comfort of the residents of Solingen,” declared Petros Spinaris, Deputy CEO of Solaris Bus & Coach.
“With Solaris as a strong partner, Kiepe Electric has already successfully completed numerous projects. Now we will equip the Solaris Trollino 12-meter trolleybuses for the Solingen municipal operator with our innovative IMC® technology and electric equipment. Thanks to this, in Solingen local transport more diesel buses can be replaced by electric buses – an important step to further advance the already exemplary environmentally friendly public transport in Solingen”, said Alexander Ketterl, CEO of Kiepe Electric GmbH, Düsseldorf.
Aside from a conventional electric drive, the trolleybuses for Solingen will additionally feature traction batteries with a capacity of 45 kWh owing to which the vehicles will be able to cover a substantial distance without the need to be attached to overhead wires. The energy will be replenished en route and will be fed through the traction lines, by means of the in-motion charging technology supplied by Kiepe Electric. The 12-metre trolleybuses have been designed for 22 seats on deck. Thermal comfort will be ensured by high-efficiency air-conditioning of the whole vehicle. The carrier has opted for an enclosed driver’s cabin which allows for comfortable and safe work conditions. A modern monitoring system will ensure control over the situation on board of the bus.
This is yet another order placed with Solaris by Solingen over the past two years. By now, the manufacturer has already carried out a contract for four Trollino 18.75 with a double-axle drive supplied to SWS in 2018. At present, the Solaris factory is preparing for the launch of deliveries under the order for 16 Trollino 18 units. In the weeks to come the German city of Solingen will receive the first of the articulated trolleybuses, whereas the delivery of the remaining 15 vehicles has been staggered over two years, ending in December 2022.
In Germany, a trolleybus transport network is currently deployed in three cities: Eberswalde, Esslingen and Solingen. In each, passengers benefit from safe and comfortable travel on trolleybuses made by Solaris. However, the newly commissioned Trollino will be the first 12-metre vehicles of the type in Germany; so far, the producer has supplied nearly 30 articulated vehicles to that place.
The 1600 trolleybuses that have been manufactured by Solaris so far service passenger traffic in 17 states across Europe. The Solaris Trollino of diverse configurations – either 12, 15, 18 or 18.75 metres long – can be seen on the streets of nearly 60 cities, including Budapest, Gdynia, Milan, Ostrava, Rome, Saint-Etienne, Salzburg and Vilnius. Interestingly, 10 articulated trolleybuses with hydrogen fuel cells have been deployed in Riga.
Images courtesy of Solaris