Prague to expand electric buses

The DPP will purchase 15 electric buses for the first full route

Prague Public Transit Company (DPP) continues to develop ecological electric bus transport.

Prague is expanding its use of electric buses after a successful trial phase. The entire route of bus line 140 will be electrified by 2021 at the latest.

Prague Public Transit Company (DPP) board of directors this week approved fully electrifying the bus line. The project calls for fully emission-free operation of articulated electric buses on the route that goes from Palmovka to Letňany and then to Čakovice and Miškovice.

During the first phase of the test operation, the dynamic charging concept was explored. This allows the bus to charge a battery from electric cables while it is running. This significantly reduces the amount of time a bus needs to be in contact with an overhead cable. The tests carried out since October 2017 showed what the technical requirements to use electric buses on the entire line would be. The test phase also included training for drivers.

An important outcome is that the electric buses were able to operate in winter conditions.

“We uncompromisingly support environmentally friendly transport. We have chosen the route of gradual electrification of bus transport, where we can use the synergy effects of already built-in power infrastructure for trams. In the future, a large part of backbone bus lines can be electrified this way, thereby greatly reducing the negative impacts of bus traffic on the environment and the city's inhabitants,” Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová (ANO) said in a press release.

Deputy Mayor Petr Dolínek (ČSSD) also was enthusiastic about the project. “Transport causes the largest share of air pollution in Prague, so we have to use all methods to reduce emissions. I personally prefer rail transport, but it is not possible to cover all of Prague’s traffic demands by subway, tram or train. … So the electrification of buses is a logical path. Dynamic recharging enables us to electrify long backbone bus lines,” Dolínek said.

Currently, about 1 kilometer of an overhead contact line in Prosecká Street has been installed for the test phase that began in October. The approved plan calls for the extension of the overhead line to several other sections of the 140 bus route.

The project also includes the construction a substation in the Klíčov garage and other infrastructure.

A recharging station at Prosecká Street used for the test phase will be modified, and another will be created at Letňany.

DPP CEO and board chairman Martin Gillar said that documentation for the project was being prepared and a tender for 15 articulated electric buses would take place. An EU subsidy could cover up to 85 percent of the costs.

The DPP is also preparing for the electrification of line 207 between Ohrada and Staroměstská, which would use recharging stations.

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