Public transport operator Karlstadsbuss started to operate three new 9.2m Optare Solo electric buses, which will service the centre lines 11, 12 and 13 in Karlstad. Powered by green electricity generated by Karlstad energy, the vehicles are emission-free and save about 80% energy when compared to an equivalent diesel bus. In addition, the noise levels are very low, giving a comfortable ride and contributing to a pleasant urban environment.
Peter Kullgren (KD), chairman of City Planning, said: “Karlstad is one of the first cities in Sweden and Europe to focus on pure electric buses. The initiative is an important step towards a sustainable Karlstad.”
Mattias Bergh, head of Karlstadsbuss said, “As more people choose public transport, we saw a need to acquire more buses. As the larger gas-fueled buses were needed on the heavier lines, we saw an opportunity to use smaller buses on the centre lines. Electric technology proved to be a viable and competitive alternative.”
The buses will be charged overnight plus a 15 minute fast charge during driver breaks every two hours. The fast charging means the bus can meet the planned service and provide plenty of power for the Karlstadsbuss advanced information systems. The fast charging station is still under construction and is expected to be completed during July. The new vehicles will therefore, gradually be phased into the regular traffic during the summer.