City of Gdynia orders 30 Solaris Trollino trolleybuses with Li-ion battery packs for off-wire driving
The city of Gdynia in Poland has signed a contract with Solaris for the delivery of 30 trolleybuses worth more than 95 million PLN (US$28 million) in total. The order includes 16 articulated Trollino 18s, and 14 Trollino 12s, which are already well-established in Gdynia.
Apart from featuring traditional trolleybus drivelines—i.e., an electric drive powered by overhead wires—the Solaris vehicles commissioned by Gdynia will be fitted with additional batteries which enable driving off the traction line.
In the case of the 14 Solaris Trollino 12 trolleybuses, the batteries will have a capacity of 58 kWh; the 16 articulated vehicles will be equipped with 87 kWh batteries.
Both types will be able to cover a distance of dozens of kilometers in zero-emission mode without the use of a pantograph. Thanks to this solution the trolleybuses for Gdynia will be able to run in areas of the city where there is no trolleybus traction line.
In addition to trolleybuses, under the contract, the company will also provide batteries that will allow the modernization of 21 other vehicles, by replacing nickel-cadmium batteries with lithium-ion ones, together with appropriate power electronics. This will support a zero-emission ride of around 15-20 kilometers without connection to traction.
Modernization of trolleybuses begins this spring, while the supply of the trolleybuses to Gdynia will begin in September this year and shall be completed by spring 2019.
Trolleybuses in Gdynia have become a recognizable quality brand for green transport. Once this order is carried out, we will be able to replace buses on some lines with trolleybuses. Thanks to the batteries, these will manage to ride also on routes lacking traction lines. The new trolleybuses will feature air conditioning, will be accessible for persons with physical disabilities, whereas the large and easily legible screens and internal CCTV cameras will improve the safety of passengers.
Moreover, the new articulated vehicles, which are only now debuting on Gdynia’s street, will carry nearly twice as many people as standard vehicles at a comparable cost of operation. Thanks to the new electric vehicles, over one-third of the passengers using public transport in Gdynia will travel by trolleybuses.—Katarzyna Gruszecka-Spychała, deputy Mayor of Gdynia
Gdynia was the buyer of the first trolleybus produced by Solaris in 2000. The city also claimed the trolleybus number 1,001 manufactured in Bolechowo near Poznań.
Today Gdynia is, next to Lublin and Tychy, one of the three cities in Poland to have kept their trolleybus infrastructure and are developing it. For its achievements in this matter Gdynia has won numerous awards both in Poland and abroad. Among others, in 2014 the Przedsiębiorstwo Komunikacji Trolejbusowej operator was declared the winner of the prestigious Regiostars prize which is awarded by the European Commission for “investments in sustainable urban public transport”.