Press releases, Sustainability
PostBus and SBB test charging of electric Postbuses with rail power
At Gelterkinden station, PostBus and Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) plan to jointly implement a pilot facility for charging electric buses with rail power. The tender for the construction of the charging stations is planned for autumn 2023, and the pilot facility is forecast to come into operation when the timetable changes in December 2025.
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By the end of 2040 at the latest, PostBus will convert its fleet of around 2,300 vehicles to fossil-free drives, eliminating direct CO2 emissions from their current level of 131,000 tonnes per year. PostBus is now procuring battery-powered buses to achieve this goal. To charge the vehicle batteries, PostBus relies on charging stations at terminal stops and in the depot.
Pilot facility in Gelterkinden
Based on its 2030 Strategy, SBB wants to utilize residual capacities in the rail power network to provide electrical energy for public road transport. The rail power network is designed for high-power railway operations and therefore does not need to be expanded for the charging stations.
To test charging of electric buses via the rail power network, SBB and PostBus plan to jointly implement a pilot facility at the station in Gelterkinden (BL). As the operator of the bus routes around Gelterkinden, the Canton of Basel-Landschaft supports this innovative project. The tender for the construction project is expected to be issued in the fourth quarter of 2023. The pilot facility is scheduled to come into operation when the timetable changes in December 2025.
Contribution to the electrification of road transport
By launching this pilot project, PostBus and SBB are driving forward the electrification of public road transport as cost-effectively, efficiently and quickly as possible, thereby contributing to the Swiss Confederation’s Energy Strategy 2050 and to public transportation.
The pilot project will also provide important experience, as use of the rail power network in this way is not yet provided for in regulation. The Federal Office of Transport (FOT), the Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) and the regulatory authority for the electricity sector (ElCom) have given the green light for the pilot facility in Gelterkinden.