Multi-modal operator Keolis claims the shift from diesel to electric vehicles will reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 85 per cent over the duration of the nine-and-a-half year contract.
The first batch of 29 Yutong electric buses have arrived in Bergen, Norway. They will form part of a 138-strong fleet of fossil free buses, which will start to be rolled out later this year (102 are all-electric).
The buses will be operated and maintained by multi-modal transport provider Keolis, which already operates a light rail network in the city. It was awarded the nine-and-a-half year contract contract from Bergen’s Skyss public transport authority.
Expected to carry 17 million passengers a year, the fossil-free buses will contribute to improving quality of life for the nearly 300,000 inhabitants of Norway’s second largest city.
The vehicles will offer seven to 10 hours of autonomy depending on operating conditions. Keolis claims the shift from diesel to electric vehicles will reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 85 per cent over the duration of the bus contract. Each diesel bus replaced with an all-electric alternative will save about 50 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Work is underway to install the recharging infrastructure at the Mannsverk depot, with the buses scheduled to begin operation in December.
Keolis operates fossil-free buses in Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, the US, Canada and France, where it has launched electric and hydrogen bus rapid transit (BRT) lines.
Keolis began operating the 20 kilometres long Bergen light rail network in 2010. In 2019, the contract was renewed for another eight years and now includes maintenance services in addition to operations. The success of this light rail network has encouraged the public transport authority to develop plans for further expansions, with firm plans for a northern line and a new extension to the western line due to open in 2022-2023. Between 12 and 14 new trams will be added to the network.
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