First electric Postbus to be used on scheduled routes
Press release, 25 August 2017
PostBus is to operate a vehicle in Interlaken which is entirely powered by electricity. The electric Postbus will be used on scheduled routes in the Interlaken region. The deployment is part of a three-year project. PostBus will use only renewable energy to recharge the battery.
For the first time, PostBus is putting an entirely electric bus into operation for the first time, to be used in regular scheduled services. The electric Postbus will operate in the Interlaken region in future. The vehicle is a 12 metre long maxi bus from the Dutch company EBUSCO. PostBus is renting the electric bus on a three-year trial period. The aim of the project is to gain experience with the manufacturer and the required infrastructure, as well as examine whether electric buses are suitable to be used by PostBus. The focus will be on the handling of the vehicle on a route that which varies topographically and the range of the battery.
First long-term trial
PostBus has already tested electric buses on a day-by-day basis. Last winter, two electric Postbuses were used for the first time in Saas-Fee to take skiers from the bus terminal and covered car park to the valley station of the mountain lifts. Other Swiss transport companies have also carried out similar tests, which were of varying durations. However, PostBus now wants to integrate a standard electrically powered vehicle into scheduled services to also cover interurban routes as well, without the need to rechargethe the battery during the journey. It is planned to use the electric Postbus on routes from Interlaken to Bönigen and Ringgenberg and to recharge the battery only at the depot (normally overnight). The vehicle will be entirely electrically powered. The heating and air-conditioning units will also be run from the battery.
Renewable energy for batteries
PostBus has entered into a partnership with Industrielle Betriebe Interlaken (IBI), a local power supplier. IBI will supply only renewable energy to recharge the batteries. The electricity is named “Bödeli green power”, of which 10% comes from local photovoltaic systems, 10% from local hydroelectric power and the rest from environmentally friendly hydroelectric power from Switzerland. Passengers and residents along PostBus routes equally benefit from the electric Postbus, as the vehicle is emission-free and operates more quietly.
Launch ceremony in Interlaken
The new electric Postbus was presented to media representatives and partners from business and politics on Friday 25 August 2017. Attendees were later able to appreciate the benefits of the electric Postbus afterwards, during a test drive.
In line with the PostBus strategy
PostBus is constantly testing alternative drive systems. The transport company has already gained valuable experience with diesel hybrid Postbuses, of which 40 are now being used across the country, with four of them in Interlaken. PostBus also ran its own hydrogen filling station in Brugg for five years, in order to supply five fuel cell Postbuses with energy. The vehicles ran daily on scheduled routes in the Brugg region. The project was successful and concluded at the beginning of 2017, at the planned end of the trial. The individual projects are in line with PostBus’s strategy to increase CO2 efficiency in the medium term and move away from fossil fuels over the long term.