Yesterday, the online premiere of a 15m battery bus from Solaris – took place. The manufacturer had announced the unveiling of the Urbino 15 LE electric at the beginning of the year, before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in Europe.
Because of the of the pandemic Solaris decided to celebrate the premiere of its new electric bus online to ensure safety for everyone. The battery novelty opens a new chapter in Solaris emission-free vehicles as it is the first Solaris electric bus that can be used on intercity routes.
The new vehicle offers a range of flexible solutions. The characteristics of a low entry bus, large range on a single charge and a wide range of options for additional equipment will meet the needs of both urban traffic and suburban routes. A variety of technical solutions also allows the bus configuration to be perfectly tailored to individual operator needs.
The heart of the Urbino 15 LE electric is 300 kW electric motor. To boost efficiency and to reduce energy consumption even further, propulsion is made using innovative SIC technology, i.e. by using silicon carbide-based circuits.
The motor is liquid-cooled and the driving power is transmitted to the second axle of the vehicle. Energy derived from a set of 6 batteries, with a total capacity of 470 kWh, is fed into the propulsion system. 4 packs have been installed in the rear of the bus, the remaining two have been mounted on the roof.
The latest generation Solaris High Energy+ batteries offer ranges of up to a few hundred kilometres on a single charge. This new vehicle will therefore be of interest to municipal carriers, as well as intercity transport operators.
The batteries in the new model can be recharged in fast mode, using a pantograph – both a conventional, roof-mounted one, as well as an inverted one, lowered onto the bus roof at the charging station.
Also, each model of the tri-axle electric bus is fitted with a plug-in connector for recharging of the vehicles at a bus depot. For the convenience of the clients, the manufacturer has devised four options positioning of the charging plug: it may be placed above the first axle in the left or right part of the vehicle, or in the front or the rear of the vehicle.
The newly released model features an air conditioning system with a heat pump function, which uses heat drawn in from outside to reach the right vehicle temperature. This solution allows to raise the energy efficiency of the vehicle, which translates directly to an increased driving range. The device uses carbon dioxide as the working fluid. The Urbino 15 LE electric guarantees comfortable travel conditions not only due to the quiet and smooth operation of the motor, reduced vibrations and the lack of any exhaust gasses whatsoever.
Urbino 15 LE electric is a modern combination of safety, comfort and style. The air-conditioned interior of the showcased bus seats 53 passengers. There are two additional folding seats two of which are fitted with ISOFIX – i.e. a system that enables the securing of a child seat. The two-door version the Urbino 15 LE electric can hold up to 65 seated passengers
The infrastructure of the vehicle has been designed in line with ITxPT standards. Three large screens created by Solaris engineers shall ensure legible information for passengers. Also, the Urbino 15 LE electric is fully adapted to be integrated with the company’s own remote fleet management system, dubbed eSConnect, which ensures full telemetry, data analysis and the logging of defects that have already appeared, as well as some that might emerge in the near future.
The interactive driver’s panel with touch screens combines many advanced security functions. Starting with warnings advising the fastening of seatbelts, automatically switched on lights and windscreen wipers. Wide-angle cameras in lieu of side mirrors ensure excellent visibility, and offer active driver assistance system Mobileye Shield+.
These innovative solutions render the problem of so-called blind spots void for all times. Also. the Mobileye Shield+ notably lowers the risk of direct collisions with pedestrians and vehicles, by detecting their presence around the vehicle and notifying the driver about them using audio and visual alerts.
The first two Solaris Urbino 15 LE electric were constructed chiefly with Scandinavian operators in mind. Bearing in mind the tough climate conditions, the designers made sure that both thermal and travel comfort are ensured during rides.
Vehicles of this type may contain other components that facilitate their operation in difficult conditions – for instance additional high beams, a sandspreader or a cache for snow chains.
Solaris has vast experience in the production of 15-metre tri-axle buses and so far, the manufacturer has already delivered nearly 1300 vehicles of that type to customers. The première Urbino 15 LE electric is the first model crafted on the basis of solutions already applied in new generation vehicles. Crucially, this is a new product which, for the first time in the company’s history, was designed solely for the purpose of zero-emission drivelines.