Turku Region Public Transport Föli will adopt its first all-electric buses in autumn of this year. The six electric buses will be supplied by the Finnish Linkker Oy. With the charging system, the total value of the procurement is approximately EUR 3.8 million. The Ministry of Employment and the Economy has granted approximately EUR 1 million in investment aid for the implementation of the system.
The strategic goal of the City of Turku is to become carbon neutral by 2040, which requires ambitious climate and environmental measures. In fact, the city aims to purposefully increase the share of electric equipment in public transport and outsourced services (taxis, transport services, the city’s own equipment).
The electric buses will be adopted on line 1 of Turku City Transport, which operates on the route Harbour–Market Square–Airport. During rush hours, two diesel-powered buses are operated alongside the electric buses. Turku Energia will build quick-charge stations for the electric buses at the harbour and the airport. Turku Energia will also implement the charging equipment at the operator’s bus depot for night-time charging. The agreement includes a service agreement for the buses and charging equipment for a period of seven years.
The procurement decision is a significant first step in the electrification of bus transport on a national level. Until now, electric buses have primarily been used in Finland on an experimental basis, and the only other place where an entire line is being operated with electric buses is one line in Espoo.
- ‘The technology related to electric buses has developed so much in recent years that the operation of an entire line with electric buses has become possible. However, in this context, the easiest way to organise the additional buses to the harbour that are needed for passenger ship traffic is still by using low-emission diesel-powered buses,’ says Public Transport Director Sirpa Korte.
- ‘Many factors speak in favour of using electric buses. They are quiet and emission-free, which is why they contribute to the city’s comfort and make for a pleasant mode of transport.’
- ‘In the long run, electric buses are also more affordable than diesel-powered buses. The higher procurement price is compensated by lower running costs during the seven-year agreement.’
Turku Energia’s role in the project is to implement the charging stations for the buses.
- ‘In accordance with our environmental programme, we will continue our significant contributions to the development of electric transport services. The implementation of the charging system for the electric buses and the increasing of know-how also enables the adoption of more extensive electric equipment in public transport in Turku in the next few years,’ says Antto Kulla, Development Manager of Turku Energia.
The operation of electric buses is planned to start at the beginning of October. The buses will be built at the factory of Linkker Oy’s contract manufacturer in Sastamala. The interest in electric buses is very strong at the moment among cities as well as bus manufacturers.
- ‘Emission-free electric buses enable the construction of new types of indoor bus stop and terminal areas, for example. Although no such plans are underway in Turku at the moment, we wanted to be among the first cities to gain experience in this new technology. The number of electric buses is also sure to increase gradually in Turku,’ says Development Manager Jari Paasikivi of the City of Turku Environmental Division.
Development Manager Jari Paasikivi, City of Turku Environmental Division, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. +358 (0)40 866 3468
Development Manager Antto Kulla, Turku Energia, email@example.com, tel. +358 (0)50 557 3257
Turku, Kaarina, Raisio, Naantali, Lieto ja Rusko muodostavat yhtenäisen joukkoliikennealueen, Turun seudun joukkoliikenne Fölin. Fölin alueella on voimassa tasataksa, eli hinta on sama matkan pituudesta riippumatta. Koko alueella on voimassa samat liput, hinnat ja alennusryhmät.
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