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trolley:planung - More Electric Buses in Germany but No Overhead?

J. Lehmann - 19.08.13

Many German cities are opting for electric buses which draw their energy from batteries rather than for trolleybuses which are well proven over 100 years. But so far, existing battery technology can only support minibuses that run on short routes.
For example, since August 2011 Osnabrück has had a short 1.3 kilometre circular route between Neumarkt and the clinics at Marienkirche, using a Breda Menarini, type M200 E Zeus minibus which has a length of 5.89 m for a maximum of 24 passengers. The range of the 500 kg battery is 120 km. Another bus and route is being added. The vehicle, manufactured in Turkey and France, is 9.3 meters in length and holds at least 45 passengers with 25 seats and 19 standing passengers and a wheelchair space. The bus should have a range of up to 140 kilometers, the lithium-ion batteries on the roof of the midi bus weigh two tonnes
The capacity offered and the limited range, however, cannot compare with diesel buses in normal service, which have a range of 300km to 350 km. For larger vehicles, a charge during the day is needed to complete a full day's service. In order to test a different charging system, Brunswick wants to convert the M19 ring route to electric operation using funds from the EU and the Fund for Electromobility. Use will be made of Bombardier's Primove system of charging by induction through concrete slabs used as the base at bus stops. Route M19: Hauptbahnhof - Ost-Ring - West-Ring - Hauptbahnhof operates with articulated buses every 10 minutes. Charging stations are to be built next to the bus depot Lindenberg and at the stops at Rudolfplatz, Hamburger Str. und Hauptbahnhof . Solaris is providing a solo vehicle for the pre-operating from late 2013, while two articulated vehicles will be available by mid-2014 for the all-electric service. More information is on the homepage of the Brunswick Transport Company .
Mannheim also has a test track with inductive charging. For this, Hess will supply two 12m-electric buses in early 2014, which will then operate an electric service on route 63. The Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development has awarded a subsidy of with 3.3 million Euros for the "PRIMOVE Mannheim" project, as reported by the city of Mannheim on its website .
Without funding, the city of Cologne and the KVB intend to operate bus route 136 electrically from 2016. A tender document was published on 19.04.2013, for which eight companies competed. Currently, route 136, which was served by trolleybuses from 1951 to 1959, is served at 10-minute intervals with five runs. To ensure that the electric articulated buses can handle the 5.5 km route charging will take place at Neumarkt for 20 minutes and for 8 -10 minutes at the clinic in Hohenlind. The tender provides for the procurement of six articulated vehicles.
Following a halt to plans for a light rail, there are no alternative solutions to cope with the heavy traffic environment. The HHA is pleased by the double-digit fuel economy of the Hess/Vossloh Kiepe hybrid double-articulated buses compared to the double articulated diesel buses of 2005/06, which are also driven by only one axle, which often leads to traction problems.
In July 2013 Bonn also tested an electric bus produced in China. The participants on the test drive remembered the trolleybuses which ran on two routes from 1951 to 1971.

Summary Translation: Martin Wright

Trolleybus and trailer on route 36 in Cologne-Hohenlind 1958
Photographer:. D. Waltking
The diesel buses on route 136, run for about 2 km along the tram routes 1, 7 and 9 between Neumarkt and Universitätsstraße. Trolleybus overhead would offer a recharging system to avoid the long turnaround times at charging stations.
Photographer: J. Lehmann

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