The BVG is now testing the latest technology behind the Bahnhof Zoo station. Berlin’s first two quick charging stations are now being set up at the Hertzallee terminus. Of the
first articulated bus with battery operation has arrived, it will be used on line 200. The first fully electric articulated bus has recently become part of Germany’s largest city bus fleet. 16 more “Urbino 18 electric” from the Polish manufacturer Solaris will follow in the next few weeks, said the BVG. “After a short test run, the new E-Schlenkis will take over all trips on line 200 from summer onwards, thus ensuring even better air in the city center.”
So far, such a pillar from Siemens was only available in the bus depot on Indira-Gandhi-Strasse in Weißensee.
The technology can charge a bus with a type of pantograph within a few minutes, so it can be used, for example, at turning points on a line. There the buses and their drivers have a break of a few minutes anyway, which can be used. BVG board member Rolf Erfurt said: “Articulated buses are the backbone of our bus fleet and we are very happy to test them in the electrically powered version.”
So far, the existing e-buses have to be recharged to the depot, so there is sometimes a long empty journey, and charging takes several hours.
In addition, the capacity of the batteries is still very limited, there is not much more than 150 kilometers in one go. That is not enough for most bus routes. For example, the new 300 line, which was designed for electric buses, cannot travel to West City like the 100 and 200 series. The 300er has only been commuting between the Schlesisches Tor and the Philharmonie since August 2019.
It is the third method of charging an E-bus, which is now being tested. The first did not work, namely induction charging like an electric toothbrush.
Testing has been going on since 2005
A test on line 204 between Südkreuz and Zoo began in 2005. According to the BVG, 25 percent of e-buses failed, residents of the line estimated the failure rate to be 50 percent.
The test has ended, the line is again operated with diesel buses. As reported, the entire BVG bus fleet is to run on electricity by 2030. Around 1,500 diesel buses are currently blowing exhaust gas into the Berlin air. The BVG alone could not handle the switch.
Because the switch will be expensive: The electric vehicles cost BVG 810 million euros, they are significantly more expensive than conventional ones.