GERMANY: Nürnberg public transport operator VAG has started testing an electric bus, which it expects will enter regular service next month.

The bus supplied by Solaris is powered by six lithium-ion batteries, mounted on the roof and on the rear of the vehicle. These are charged in the depot using a 150 kW fast charger.

If the test running gives positive results, VAG would look to procure series-built electric buses from 2020. In view of the higher cost of these compared with diesel buses, it would seek federal and Land funding. The prototype cost more than €500 000, which includes the charger; VAG says that this is double the cost of a diesel bus.