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Electric bus on a test run in Szeged, Source: szeged.hu

Szeged adds 4 self-propelled trolleybuses and 8 electric buses to public transport fleet

Szeged adds 4 self-propelled trolleybuses and 8 electric buses to public transport fleet

The Nature4Cities project participant benefits from Hungary’s Green Bus Programme

Szeged, Hungary’s third-largest city, will soon add 4 self-propelled trolleybuses and 8 electric buses to its public transport fleet. The latest expansion of the city’s electric transport has become possible following the first tenders of the Green Bus programme for the procurement of electric buses and the construction of related infrastructure.

The largest procurement of electric buses in Hungary

Launched in 2020 as part of the Climate and Nature Action Plan, the Green Bus programme mandates Hungarian cities with more than 25 000 inhabitants to put in operation only emission-free buses from 2022 onwards. As of last November, municipalities and public transport providers were able to submit tenders for the purchase of self-propelled trolleybuses and electric buses, as well as the construction of charging stations.

The programme supports the procurement of buses with a maximum own contribution of 80 percent and the construction of related charging infrastructure with a maximum contribution of 60 percent, with the remainder covered by state funds.

The conclusion of grant contracts and the payment of grant amounts for the beneficiary cities and public utility companies will take place this August. So, 123 electric non-articulated buses (12 for Székesfehérvár, 13 for Győr, 11 for Zalaegerszeg, 6 for Eger, 10 for Szolnok, 8 for Szeged, and the rest for the Budapest agglomeration) as well as 4 self-propelled trolleybuses can be procured in the near future.

Reserved for Szeged

The batch of four self-propelled trolleybuses will be an exclusive Szeged acquisition. The technology allows the batteries of the trolleybus to be charged while it is connected to the overhead line, so that the extra stored energy can be used again on road sections that lack power lines.

Electric vehicles provide a higher level of service, carry a lower noise load than their conventional counterparts and their emissions are zero, meaning that they do not pollute their immediate environment during operation, reads an announcement by the Ministry of Innovation and Technology.

Zoltán Pafféri, President and CEO of Volánbusz, commented on the tender results, as quoted by szeged.hu:

“Today, our plans for sustainable, greener public transport are entering the implementation phase, ushering in a new era in domestic bus passenger transport. Thanks to the support we have just won, we can provide a unique fleet of electric buses in Europe for the comfort of our passengers, while also making significant progress in protecting our environment. The safe and convenient service of Volánbusz is moving towards sustainability with the arrival of green buses, thus offering an even more attractive alternative to private transport in our big cities as well as in the area of ​​the capital.”

Embracing Nature Based Solutions

The new environmentally-friendly public transport additions will contribute to the improvement of air quality in Szeged, providing a more liveable environment for the city residents. The modernization of public transport is also in tune with the Nature4Cities project where Szeged participates as a pilot city alongside Alcala de Henares, Ankara and Milan.

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