EU funds help: Electric buses have met expectations
30. 10. 2020
Transport by electric buses, purchased with the help of European funds, has been an everyday reality for the inhabitants of Třinec for two years. The carrier Arriva Moravia is involved in reducing the carbon footprint.
For two years now, thanks to a subsidy from EU funds, electric buses in public transport have been helping to improve the environment for industrial Třinec. The engine, producing no carbon footprint, propels 12-meter vehicles Škoda Perun, built on the Solaris chassis and body. Since March 2017, ten of them have been driving around the city. The European Union contributed almost CZK 115 million towards them, i.e. 85% of the total price.
THE NUMBER WILL INCREASE
Although Třinec is at the forefront in this respect, the town hall, in cooperation with the carrier Arriva Moravia, is planning another purchase. However, the cost of one electric bus is about two and a half times higher than that of a standard diesel bus, so the opportunity to buy will only come with the announcement of the next subsidy programme financed from EU funds.
"The purchase of electric buses in localities such as Třinec is simply a necessity. The local environment has long been significantly burdened by industrial production. However, public transport does not have to contribute to deteriorating the conditions, because we have opportunities the previous generations did not have. Therefore, the purchase of electric buses that leave no carbon footprint behind is not a question of return on financial investment. It is mainly an investment in the living comfort of the locals," says Jaromír Walaski, CEO of Arriva Moravia.
An electric bus is delivered in a "package" with a charger. You need to visit it twice in one day. For the first time, the batteries are recharged in a long night cycle between ten o'clock in the evening and six o'clock in the morning. The second recharge takes place between the morning and afternoon peaks and is, therefore, shorter. It lasts two to three hours and, as with the night charging, the slow mode is used so that the battery is not worn out too quickly.
The purchase of electric buses in localities such as Třinec is simply a necessity. The local environment has long been significantly burdened by industrial production.
PASSENGERS APPRECIATE IT
"Of course, the mechanics who had only worked with internal combustion engines had to be specially trained to service the new fleet. But the good news is that everything has settled in, the daily servicing is of excellent quality and the electric buses are also relished by their drivers," Walaski adds.
A fully charged electric bus will travel up to 150 km per day, depending on the conditions on the individual lines. Of course, the demanding hilly routes burden the battery more, as well as the use of air conditioning that has become standard also in public transport in summer.
One electric bus can accommodate 75 passengers, the cars are low-floor and, of course, have a boarding platform for wheelchairs. Although the introduction of electric buses in the city of steel was not easy - a new power distribution system had to be built, including a transformer station, because the carrier's premises were not originally built for the required electricity consumption - now everything works as it should and a positive response comes also from passengers. They especially like the comfort of transport, quiet operation and interior design of the vehicles. The City of Třinec thus plans to use only electric buses in its public transport in the future.
"People identify electric buses easily - they don't stink, they can't be heard and they don't have a hump," said the Mayor of Třinec, Věra Palkovská, during the commissioning of electric buses acquired thanks to an EU subsidy. "Clean transport is one of the priorities of our smart city concept. Transport in our city significantly contributes to dust and affects air quality.
Every step we take to improve the air is important. We create suitable conditions for rail transport, we support bicycle transport and we pay great attention to electromobility. In Třinec, we not only talk about it, we already have concrete results," Věra Palkovská added. And Třinec continued to support electromobility by raising awareness.
"In northern Moravia, the environmental burden from transport adds up with pollution from industry and domestic heating. It is towns and villages that play a key role in regulating transport and implementing measures that will reduce its emissions, whether it is the use of alternative propulsion for vehicles in public transport or in municipal services," said Minister of the Environment Richard Brabec.