The low-floor Škoda E’City 36 BB bus, which has a capacity for 69 passengers, has an electric motor with an output of 160 kW and reaches a maximum speed of 80 km / h. It also has air conditioning and heating, so it can boast zero emissions.
“This electric bus is the first of its kind that we solve. There will be a total of 14 of them and this is our first step in fulfilling the climate commitment of the capital city of Prague, “said the head of the Prague transport company Petr Witowski, adding that the new electric buses will save up to 252,000 liters of diesel per year.
The first electric bus was used by the transport company on line 213, which runs from Vinohrady through Jižní Město to Uhříněves. However, it should also take turns on line 154, which leads from Strašnice to Jižní Město, and on line 124, which leads from the Želivského stop to Braník. According to Witovsky, the remaining thirteen electric buses should start running at the end of February.
The gray-red battery electric bus will run on lines 213, 154 and on weekends also 124.
The electric buses will be fully charged during the night in the Vršovice garages, where the charging infrastructure is ready for them. “It also travels 180 kilometers a day on a full charge, however, the electric bus is also recharged during operation, always at the end stations, when it has a break. The charging time is about 15 to 20 minutes, ”explained Karel Majer, Strategic Director for Wheeled Vehicles of the Škoda Transportation Group.
The electric buses have a compact pantograph, thanks to which they can be powered from the already existing contact wire network. On the plus side, there is no need to build new infrastructure for on-the-fly charging.
At the final stations, the electric buses can be recharged continuously thanks to the tram and trolleybus infrastructure.
The electric buses were supplied to Prague by Škoda Electric from Pilsen, a subsidiary of Škoda Transportation. The first Škoda E’City models were introduced in 2017; since 2020, transport companies in Zlín and Otrokovice have also had them in their fleet.
The buses for Prague were then created in cooperation with the Turkish company Temsa, which supplied the body. However, it is already decorated with a gray-red color, which corresponds to the new color style of Prague Integrated Transport.
According to Majer, the price for one bus is around 14.5 million crowns, the company has spent around 207 million crowns for the entire fleet of electric buses, including additional costs, and 85 percent of the costs came from European Union funds.
Overnight, the new electric buses will recharge the batteries in the Vršovice garages.
The head of the Prague transport company, Petr Witowski, has previously stated that the company wants to expand its fleet by another 140 hybrid buses and several dozen trolleybuses. They should return to Prague permanently, the last time they traveled the capital in 1972. In the future, the Prague carrier also wants to test the hydrogen bus, which has been tested by Vienna, for example, since the end of last year.
“We recommend being at the forefront of providing public transport services and greater comfort. At the same time, it is a direction to make it easier for the environment in Prague, ”said Adam Scheinherr, Prague’s deputy mayor for transport, adding that by 2030 the city wants three-quarter public transport buses to be low-emission or completely zero-emission.