The Swiss city of Basel has announced plans to replace its fleet of 110 buses with electric models from the Netherlands. The aim is to run its entire bus network using environmentally clean vehicles by 2027.
The decision to phase out diesel buses had been taken in 2015, but on Thursday the city unveiled its vehicle of choice, which had successfully completed a test phase. The CHF255 million ($255 million) order will be voted on by the local parliament next year.
Passengers gave electric buses positive reviews during a trial last autumn, prompting the authorities to move into stage two of the transport scheme – a one-year pilot of articulated buses weighing 22 tonnes and measuring more than 18 metres in length.
The Citea SLFA-181 buses from the Dutch manufacturer VDL feature three-ton battery modules that give the vehicles a range of between 80 and 130 kilometres, depending on weather conditions. The battery takes 38 minutes to recharge.
Each bus is capable of carrying 40 seated passengers and 77 standing.
Basel is not the first city to introduce environmentally-friendly public transport systems. Geneva introduced 20 TOSA electric buses, manufactured by Swiss-Swedish company ABB, last year.