July 15, 2021. Representatives of Solaris Bus & Coach and of the Estonian operator Aktsiaselts Tallinna Linnatransport (TLT) have signed a deal for the supply of 100 environmentally friendly city buses propelled with compressed natural gas (CNG). 75 of the commissioned buses are Solaris Urbino 12 vehicles, while the remaining 25 are articulated Urbino 18 units. The deliveries are scheduled to end in 2022. The contract is worth nearly EUR 27 million. In line with the contract, TLT may, optionally, increase its order, commissioning another 20 Urbino 12 CNG and 30 Urbino 18 CNG buses.
The capital of Estonia is among the leading smart cities of the world, this meaning cities that take advantage of information and communication technologies in order to improve the interactivity and efficiency of urban infrastructure. So it comes as no surprise that the largest public transport operator in Estonia – Aktsiaselts Tallinna Linnatransport – has once again decided to sign a significant deal with Solaris for vehicles running on natural gas. Some 200 vehicles of Solaris, commissioned by TLT from 2019 to 2020, are already deployed in Tallinn. Once the contract is performed, up to 95 environmentally friendly Solaris Urbino 12 CNG and up to 55 articulated Solaris Urbino 18 CNG buses will join that fleet.
“With this agreement, we are fulfilling our goal of bringing a total of 350 gas buses to the route. We have reason to be proud because next year the Tallinn bus will celebrate its 100th anniversary and the new buses will be the best gift for the residents of Tallinn. Thanks to this, TLT lowers the average age of rolling stock to 5 years, which is remarkable not only in Estonia, but with this result we can compete with any public transport in the European capital. Of course, the positive impact of the introduction of gas buses on the urban environment is not insignificant. When all gas buses reach the route, CO2 emissions into the city will be reduced by about 25,000 tons per year, which is estimated to be comparable to the emissions of 7,000 passenger cars with internal combustion engines.” stated Deniss Boroditš, CEO of Tallinna Linnatranspordi AS.
In both new vehicle type, i.e. the 12-metre and the 18-metre versions, the heart of the vehicles will be a 235 kW engine adapted to use CNG. Furthermore the engine will be modified to perform even better under unfavourable weather conditions thanks to the cold start function that facilitates starting the engine at very low temperatures. Five tanks used to store compressed natural gas, holding a total of 1575 litres for the Urbino 12 and 1875 litres – for the articulated buses, will be stacked on the bus roof in its front part.