Prague seeks supplier for 20 extended electric trolleybuses for Václav Havel Airport route

The large-capacity buses could go into service by early 2023 and would reduce noise and pollution

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 30.10.2020 11:26 (updated on 05.11.2020)

 The Prague Public Transit Company (DPP) is preparing to purchase 20 large-capacity low-floor three-section battery trolleybuses, and is announcing a competition for a public contract for a supplier.

The trolleybuses will be used primarily on line No. 119, which goes from Nádraží Veleslavín to Václav Havel Airport Prague. The route is currently being electrified. The city first announced plans to electrify the route in September 2019.

The supplier be announced at the end of March 2021. The first vehicle could be delivered to Prague in the autumn of 2022, the remaining vehicles within two years of signing the purchase contract. The estimated total value of the contract is 628 million CZK excluding VAT.

The large-capacity battery trolleybuses will help fulfill the concept of introducing alternatives top fossil fuel in Prague's public transport and responds to European, national and city goals and commitments to reduce energy intensity, emissions and noise pollution from city bus transport.

The trolleybuses should be between 23 and 25 meters, with a capacity of 40 to 55 passenger seats, a design speed of at least 70 km / h, guaranteed battery life of at least 11 km and battery life of at least 60 months or 450,000 kilometers. The vehicles must include a check-in and information system, air conditioning, two places for transporting passengers in a wheelchair, a camera system and an automatic passenger counting system.

The trolley buses should average 90,000 km per year. Charging will take place using two-pole technology that DPP will build at both end points, Nádraží Veleslavín and at Václav Havel Airport.

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“In 2022, we will start building an overhead line to electrify line 119 to the airport. In the spring of 2023, we will deploy new emission-free and barrier-free trolleybuses. They will be up to 25 meters long, which will significantly improve passenger comfort. Locals will appreciate that they will be quiet and, overall, we will make transport easier by not adding more bus connections,” Prague Deputy Mayor Adam Scheinherr (Praha sobě), who is also chairman of the supervisory board of DPP, said.

“At the same time, we will reduce exhaust emissions on this line to zero. We fulfill the homework that we set out in the Climate Commitment of the Capital City of Prague. In Prague, we want to use modern technologies in all areas of transport, including electromobility,” he added.

DPP operations manager Jan Barchánek said the city will most likely be the first operator of this type of trolleybus in the Czech Republic. Before their normal deployment on line No. 119, they must undergo testing both without and then with passengers and then be certified. “We anticipate the full deployment of large-capacity three-section trolleybuses on line No. 119 in the spring of 2023. We believe that in this time horizon the vast majority of the original demand for air transport will be restored after the current coronavirus crisis,“ he added.

For the purchase competition DPP will evaluate six criteria in relation to costs during the entire life cycle of the vehicle. The main criteria will be the offer price for the vehicle, taking into account its capacity, other criteria will be the length of the vehicle warranty, average annual costs of prescribed vehicle maintenance, average annual costs of out-of-warranty and post-warranty vehicle service, costs of replacement traction battery and average annual costs for the support and development of the check-in and information system and vehicle energy management functions.

The public contract follows from two rounds of preliminary market consultations carried out last autumn with leading trolleybus manufacturers, namely Škoda Electric, SOR Libchavy, Ekova Electric, Solaris, Van Hool, the Swiss manufacturer Carrosserie HESS and the Turkish company Bozankaya.

The preparation of the infrastructure for the electrification of line No. 119 continues according to schedule. The project recently received a positive environmental impact assessment (EIA). DPP is currently finalizing project documentation for merged construction and land management. DPP expects to start construction of the overhead line during 2022.

This is not the first recent purchase of a trolleybus. DPP purchased the first new trolleybus in 60 years in August for use on line 58 between Palmovka and Letňany