Prague testing two hybrid buses to help reduce CO2 emissions

The city is exploring options for reducing public transit’s reliance on fossil fuels

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 21.08.2019 11:05:21 (updated on 21.08.2019) Reading time: 3 minutes

The city is exploring more options for reducing public transit’s reliance on fossil fuels. The Prague Public Transit Company (DPP) is currently testing two options for hybrid buses that combine diesel engines with electric power.

The Iveco Urbanway Hybrid 12 m High Value began a two month test on August 12 began. The bus has the registration number 4998 and passengers can ride it until October 10.

In its current
configuration the Iveco Urbanway Hybrid can handle 86 passengers,
with 30 seated and 56 standing.

The DPP at the same
time is also testing the Solaris Urbino 12 Hybrid until the end of
September. The testing of the bus with the registration number 4999
began July 22. It is configured for 102 passengers, with 24 seated
and 78 standing.

The buses, both 12 meters long, use serial hybrid technology, which is unusual because they do not rely on conventional storage batteries.

Iveco Urbanway
Interior of Iveco Urbanway Hybrid 12 m High Value. via DPP

The diesel engine
powers the generator. The wheels are driven by an electric motor
powered from the generator or from ultra-capacitors on the roof. This
means that there is no mechanical coupling between the diesel engine
and the wheels.

The ultra-capacitors are charged when the vehicle is braked or by the internal combustion engine. The fully electric mode has the combustion engine off and zero emissions. It operates when approaching and departing from a bus stop and traffic light.

The fuel consumption of this type of vehicle is up to 30% lower, and CO2 emissions can be up to 30% lower compared to diesel buses.

“I want DPP to be
a flagship among transport companies in the Czech Republic and to
continue on the path to becoming a modern 21st century company that
works with today’s state-of-the-art technologies. It is important to
test and evaluate the results of hybrid buses in Prague’s streets,”
Prague Deputy Mayor and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of DPP Adam
Scheinherr said when the Solaris Urbino 12 Hybrid began testing.

Solaris Urbino 12 Hybrid
Solaris Urbino 12 Hybrid. via DPP

“ In addition, such systems have the following benefits: increasing passenger comfort, and reducing operating costs, emissions and noise pollution,” Prague Deputy Mayor and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of DPP Adam Scheinherr said when the Solaris Urbino 12 Hybrid began testing.

The hybrid bus tests
are to confirm savings in diesel consumption and thus lower
emissions. The technology for electricity storage varies from one
manufacturer to another, and the real street conditions in Prague
cannot be completely compared to other European cities.

DPP asked hybrid bus
manufacturers for test vehicles they could try in real Prague traffic
conditions before committing to purchasing them. Using hybrid buses
is a temporary solution before the transition to fully emission-free
vehicles. Purely alternative mass transit vehicles can’t be
introduced until there is sufficient charging and filling
infrastructure in Prague.

Hybrid vehicles do not require additional infrastructure. They can deliver improved environmental performance compared to diesel vehicles until emission-free buses are implemented.

The diesel buses
currently purchased by DPP meet the strictest Euro VI emission
standard. Their emissions are similar to CNG vehicles. Buses with
Euro V and Euro VI emission classes make up 76% of the DPP bus fleet,
and the number is increasing due to ongoing renewal.

At the same time,
DPP is working on projects for emission-free and low-emission
vehicles to further reduce emissions from public transport, but also
to meet upcoming European standards. The city is also exploring fully
electric buses and trolleybuses, and preparing a hydrogen bus
project.

DPP will test the
Iveco bus together with the Solaris hybrid bus from the Hostivař
garage on selected connections, in particular the following lines:

Both 12-meter-long buses will be tested on the following lines:
133 (Florenc – Sídliště Malešice)
165 (Sídliště Zbraslav – Háje)
175 (Florenc – Háje)
207 (Staroměstská – Ohrada)
213 (Želivského – Nádraží Uhříněves)

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