Milan Orders 100 Additional Electric Buses

The future of transportation is electric. The past decade has seen increased interest in electric vehicles (“EVs”), which run on clean energy and produce no emissions at the tail (exhaust) pipe. This increased interest has culminated in initiatives by several governments to replace fossil-fuel vehicles with EVs. Although we are still a long way from widespread EV use, partly due to the high initial cost of purchasing an EV, several cities have already started electrifying their taxi and bus fleets to cut down on emissions.

In Milan, for instance, efforts to electrify the fleet of buses are already underway. Municipal public transport company Azienda Trasporti Milanesi (“ATM”) first ordered a batch of 40 Urbino electric buses from Poland-based Solaris Bus & Coach back in 2019 as part of a contract to deliver 250 electric buses. ATM Milano, which operates in Milan and 46 surrounding metropolitan municipalities, has now ordered another batch of 100 electric buses in line with last year’s contract.

The contract with Polish firm Solaris is one of the largest orders of electric buses in the West and is part of ATM Milano’s plan to phase out internal combustion-engined buses by 2030. Solaris is expected to deliver the 100 12-meter electric buses to Milan over the first six months of 2021. In addition to running on an electric motor, the buses will also feature two innovative systems designed to keep passengers, other vehicles, and pedestrians safe.

The first is a warning system dubbed the Mobileye Shield+, which will use acoustic and visual alerts to point out objects in the driver’s blind spot or indicate vehicle lane changes without prior signaling or that the driver isn’t maintaining proper distance from other motorists. The second system, which will be implemented in one electric bus in Milan for testing purposes, is called MirrorEye. The system will have the side mirrors replaced with cameras, giving drivers much better visibility, especially in adverse weather conditions and at night.

Solaris Italia’s managing director Alberto Fiore says that the contract with ATM Milano is an excellent opportunity to clean up the city’s air and improve residents’ health and general quality of life. The relationship between ATM Milano and Solaris began in 2014, and in the years since, Solaris has delivered 25 electric buses to Milan and 40 to Italy in general. According to the Polish firm, its electric buses produce very little noise and vibrations, and are retrofitted with USB ports to charge mobile devices, as well as a video surveillance system and a passenger information system to boost travel safety and comfort.

The existence of many players in the EV market ensures that different segments of the market are given the attention they deserve. For example, ev Transportation Services Inc., through its lightweight utility vehicle, is currently engaged in addressing the transportation needs of essential service providers.

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