Solaris has been committed to e-mobility for many years now, by focusing its development activities on zero-emission and city-dweller-friendly solutions. Its wide range of vehicles, which do not release any exhaust emissions and are equipped with advanced technologies, is Solaris’s response to the varied needs of European carriers. Today, Solaris is a leader among European suppliers of zero-emission city buses. The manufacturer has already signed contracts for 2500 e-buses. Contributing to minimising CO2 emissions, the Urbino models, of various lengths and configurations, now ply the streets of over 140 towns and cities in 21 European countries. Solaris’s products, including vehicles with conventional drives, are now present in 32 countries and nearly 800 towns and cities worldwide.
Alongside trolleybuses and battery-powered e-buses, hydrogen vehicles complement the manufacturer’s offering of electric drives. The articulated Urbino 18 hydrogen bus was officially launched on 14 September. At the InnoTrans 2022 in Berlin, it is presented for the first time to the wider public. The latest Solaris bus model is showcased at the outdoor Bus Display area in the Sommergarten. In addition, representatives of Solaris are on hand at the exhibition stand of the CAF Group (stand 130, Hall 4.2), the main shareholder of Solaris, an international leader in designing and implementing mobility systems and a leading manufacturer of railway vehicles, including: high-speed trains, regional and commuter trains, locomotives, metro trains and trams.
Urbino 18 hydrogen bus – packed with cutting-edge technological solutions
The Urbino 18 hydrogen bus is now Solaris’s second hydrogen bus in its zero-emission offering. As with the shorter version, the main energy source in this vehicle is hydrogen. With this 18-metre model, the manufacturer is responding to the growing market for vehicles of this type.
The heart of the Urbino 18 hydrogen bus is a cutting-edge fuel cell that acts as a miniature hydrogen power plant. Hydrogen is transformed by the fuel cell into electricity which is then transferred to the driveline. Solaris’s new vehicle doesn’t feature a conventional engine compartment as it has been equipped with a modular drive system. The space thus saved has allowed the bus maker to increase the vehicle’s passenger capacity. What is more, by eliminating the engine compartment, more space on the roof has been created, where composite light hydrogen tanks with a total capacity of 51.2 kg have been mounted. The use of a modular drive also facilitates servicing as its main components are now accessible from floor level.
The electricity from the hydrogen fuel cell in this articulated Solaris bus is transferred directly to the driveline. Solaris batteries with a capacity of around 60 kWh, mounted in the vehicle, serve as an auxiliary power source, used, for example, during acceleration as well as as storage for recovered energy. Full refuelling of the vehicle takes around 20 minutes.
Thanks to the hydrogen technology applied and an increased number of new, light hydrogen tanks, the brand-new bus will perform excellently on longer routes. It will be able to cover about 350 km on a single refill in various weather conditions. Depending on the configuration, the bus will be able to carry up to 140 passengers. The latest model can be type-approved both as a class I and class II vehicle, which makes it possible to deploy it on inter-city routes.
Clients will be offered the possibility of customising the bus to cater for their individual preferences. The bus will be available with four door arrangements: 2-2-2-0, 1-2-2-0, 1-2-2-2 and 2-2-2-2. As standard, the new model will feature an air-conditioning system for the passenger compartment with a heat pump, which uses heat drawn in from outside to create the right vehicle temperature. The air conditioning in the driver’s cabin is powered by the passenger compartment unit. As regards additional features, clients may choose from a variety of solutions, for example, they may opt for ADAS, i. e. advanced drivers assistance systems such as MirrorEye or MobilEye Shield+.
The 12-metre version of the Solaris Urbino hydrogen bus was launched in 2019. Since then, nearly 100 hydrogen buses have already been delivered to customers in Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Poland. New deliveries to clients in Spain, France, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, amongst other countries, will start soon. The first deliveries of the 18-metre articulated vehicle will be possible as early as the second quarter of 2023.