Efficient, light-weight electric buses will soon be introduced onto the streets of Helsinki thanks to an extensive pilot programme being run by Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) and the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.
HSL will purchase 12 electric buses from Linkker, the Finnish technology developer, with the first expected to be operating by summer.
The prototype buses are being built individually in Linkker's production facilities. ‘We made an exception and bought the buses ourselves, because it would have been unreasonable to have a transport operator shoulder the technology risks of individually made electric buses,’ said Reijo Mäkinen, Director of HSL's Transport Services.
The buses' light-weight design is expected to have a number of benefits. According to Linkker's Managing Director Kimmo Erkkilä: ‘The bus frames will be fully made out of aluminium. Thanks to their light weight, the buses will be extremely energy-efficient. The batteries will quickly charge at the terminal, while other benefits include zero emissions and quiet operation’.
The buses will be equipped with sensors to collect data, and a real-time monitoring and control system will be developed to manage battery charge levels.
For more information, visit the VTT website.