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Electric buses on trial in Helsinki

Self-charging electric buses are to be trialled in Finland.

Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) announced plans to buy 12 of the vehicles from manufacturer Linkker to start running this summer.

It will represent the first extensive pilot project of the lightweight aluminium vehicles, allowing them to be tested in a cold climate.

“Thanks to their light weight, the buses will be extremely energy-efficient,” said Linkker managing director Kimmo Erkkilä.

“The batteries will be quick-charged at the terminal. Other benefits include zero emissions and quiet operation.”

The buses will be delivered in stages and equipped with sensors to collect data.

A real-time monitoring and control system will be developed to receive information about battery charge levels.

The trial – being carried out in conjunction with VTT Technical Research Centre – is part of a four-year development project for innovative and emission-free bus transport.

It aims to create more detailed electric bus specifications and to introduce the idea of electric buses to operators.

“HSL has made a genuine catalytic acquisition to speed up the electrification of bus transport systems,” said, VTT’s TransSmart research programme boss Nils-Olof Nylund.

“VTT has been involved in the development of electric buses right from the start, and we are pleased to say that Finland is creating an international reference for electric buses.”

HSL aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and harmful local emissions from bus transport by over 90% by 2025.

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