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TLT tested the first electric articulated bus on the streets of Tallinn

AS Tallinna Linnatransport (TLT) tested the Solaris Urbino 18 electric articulated bus for the first time. The testing of the electric bus, which ended at the beginning of August, is part of TLT’s plan to serve all public transport in Tallinn with emission-free vehicles by 2035 at the latest.  

The tested Solaris Urbino 18-meter electric articulated bus traveled almost 170 km on a single battery charge. According to Lennart Viikmaa, a member of the management board of TLT, this was the first testing of an electric bus larger than normal. “The Solaris Urbino 18 electric was comfortable for passengers due to its low entry and was also suitable for passengers with special needs, as it was equipped with a wheelchair ramp. The bus ride and acceleration were smooth. There is also a fast charger on the roof of this bus, which would allow the bus to be charged even between trips, but since there is no corresponding infrastructure in Tallinn yet, we could not test this possibility. We will continue testing various electric buses in the future to find an electric bus that can cover as many kilometers as possible with one charge,” Viikmaa added.   

The electric articulated bus served lines 42, 1A, 33, and 49 during the test period. The body design and the driver’s cab solution of the tested bus were similar to the gas buses already in use. In the electric bus, all the ventilation took place through the air conditioner, and there was no need to open the windows to get clean air.  

Viikmaa explained that various electric buses are being tested with the aim of finding more environmentally friendly and economical alternatives to diesel buses. “In the near future, we want to test electric buses on the roads of Tallinn in other seasons as well to see how they work in the Estonian climate. Electric buses are part of the future of public transport, which will help keep the city air cleaner and optimize vehicle maintenance costs,” said a member of the management board of TLT.  

Trams and trolleys are already used as electric vehicles in Tallinn, but the company’s bigger goal is to see only environmentally friendly vehicles also in the bus fleet.  

Electrical engineering specifications of Solaris Urbino 18: 

  • Battery capacity 240 kW
  • Height 3.42 m 
  • Length 18 m
  • Gross weight 30,000 kg 
  • Registration mass 28,000 km