Starting in fall 2017, Stadtwerke Bonn (SWB) plans to test an electric double-articulated bus in the city. Two of its four axles are driven by an electric motor. At just under 25 meters, it is twice as long as a normal bus and more like a streetcar.
This is also reflected in the transport capacities: Unlike a solo bus for 70 passengers or the 18-meter articulated bus for 100 passengers, this e-bus can transport up to 140 passengers at a time. By comparison, a streetcar of the Bonn model can fit 168 passengers.
Like the six e-buses now in regular service, the double-articulated bus will be equipped with BonnNature Electricity operated by SWB. The green electricity has been awarded the Grüner Strom-Label. It guarantees that the electricity for the buses comes 100 percent from renewable energy sources, because this is the only way to make electromobility sustainable and environmentally compatible.
The Giga-Bus will be used on the route from Bonn's main train station to the Hardtberg district. Despite its length, the "Hardtbergbus" is said to be no more difficult for drivers to circle around corners than a conventional articulated bus. The bus's batteries hold 460 kilowatt hours, and the manufacturer guarantees a range of 300 kilometers.
The new e-bus will initially be made available to the municipal utility free of charge as a test bus. With acquisition costs of 1.2 to 1.5 million euros, it offers a favorable alternative to a streetcar, which would cost up to three million euros. This does not include investment costs for rails and overhead lines.