Patrick Häberli switches to electric Postbuses
Charging instead of refuelling: since December 2022, three electric buses have been in service in Sempach. As a Postbus driver, Patrick is proud to have the opportunity to gain experience with the new technology.
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Video Patrick Häberli
In his free time, Patrick likes his sports – whether triathlon or diving. But when he’s on the road with an electric Postbus, the 52-year-old can’t be too sporty with his cornering. Because the batteries are on the roof, the handling of electric buses when cornering is different from taking bends with the familiar diesel buses. There are also differences in energy input. Instead of filling up his vehicle with diesel, Patrick now charges the battery. Other than that, Patrick doesn’t see any major differences between driving an electric Postbus and a diesel bus.
Patrick has been working for 10 years as a driver for PostBus operator SB Trans in Sempach, where three battery-powered buses have been in service since December 2022, the first electric buses in the canton of Lucerne.
The switch to electric vehicles
While one electric bus is in the depot for battery charging, there are two battery-powered buses on the road serving passengers. The battery-powered Postbuses are used mainly on two routes. On route 70 to Rothenburg, the Postbuses cover 240,000 kilometres per year. No wonder it’s called the “power route”. On route 89 to Eich – Bäch, the total is 70,000 kilometres per year. Distance is not the only factor when it comes to battery capacity, uphill gradients and downhill slopes also play a role.
According to Patrick, the drivers charge the batteries in the new Postbuses themselves. He says it is important to ensure that the connections at the charging station are fitted correctly to the vehicle. As long as they are, everything works perfectly with charging. All employees were trained accordingly when the buses were first introduced.
A clear ambition
As the largest public transport company on the roads, PostBus has a responsibility in terms of combating climate change, and with it clear goals: the first 100 electric Postbuses should be on the roads by 2024, with the number expected to rise to 1,000 Postbuses by 2030. By 2040 at the latest, PostBus plans to have converted its entire current fleet of 2,300 vehicles to fossil-free drive systems.
Patrick the person
Whether on his travels or at work with PostBus, Patrick is open to new ideas, and so he hopes to soon see the fleet of electric Postbuses in Sempach getting bigger.