At the 2016 IAA Commercial Vehicles Show, Solaris unveiled its next-generation Urbino 12 all-electric urban bus, which has bagged the “Bus of the Year 2017” award at the international event by ACE (Association of European Commercial Vehicle Editors). This is the first time that the award goes to a battery-driven vehicle competed by diesel and CNG buses, and is a major feat for Solaris which completes 20 years of existence this year. The low-floor 12-metre bus, built on the popular Urbino platform, is powered by high-energy battery pack of 240 kWh capacity and the most innovative vehicle from the Poland-based company.
The new Urbino 12 Electric is driven by third generation ZF-made AVE 130 electric drive with two axle-mounted motors of 125 kW of output each. Source of power to the motors is the 240 kWh Lithium-ion battery pack consisting of six individual units of 40 kWh each, with four of them placed at the rear of the bus and the rest mounted on the roof. This battery arrangement has resulted in free space for the passengers inside the cabin, also making the vehicle weigh less compared to the previous model that debuted at the 2012 IAA show four years ago. The earlier model featured a centrally mounted asynchronous motor and produced a maximum power 160 kWh only.
Further, the electric bus boasts an innovative and flexible charging system consisting of both pantograph (for inductive charging from over-head electric supply lines on route) and a standard plug-in connection (for overnight charging at depot). The 3-door bus also gains from Solaris’s next-generation light and rigid bodyframe and skin-on-skin panels assemblies from its standardised Urbino city bus platform. The ergonomically-designed interior with optimum space for easy passenger flow is also shared with other Urbino variants, thereby reducing costs and maintenance-friendly.
The new Urbino Electric is treat to look at outside, thanks to modern sharp-cut design language defined by elegant lines and angles. The sleek headlamps with projector-type lights and LED DRLs, large windscreen with glass-finish side panels, and neatly laid-out interiors are major highlights of the new bus. The seating capacity of the bus is up to 41 passengers.
Solaris has equipped its flag-ship emission-free bus with electronically-controlled air suspension with kneeling function up to 60 mm high and 70 mm low, electronic (dual-circuit) braking system with ABS and traction control, parking (hand) brake with emergency release function from the driver’s seat, and a bus stop brake for passengers safety. The bus is fully air-conditioned with dual-function (blowing and extraction facility) ventilation system.
Solaris Bus and Coach S.A is celebrating its successful 20th anniversary and is being recognised as one of the leading player in the in the European bus industry. The company has also displayed its new-generation Urbino 12 CNG with a 320hp Cummins engine (Euro VI compliant) and Urbino 12 Hybrid variant at the 2016 IAA Show in Hannover.
Photo Credits: Solaris-Club.com, David Gambles