80-Foot Long Electric Bus Concept From Poland: Uses Fuel Cells Too


Solaris Urbino 24 Electric concept

Solaris Urbino 24 Electric concept

Enlarge Photo

Aggressive promotion by carmakers is slowly getting the public used to the idea of electric vehicles, but probably not ones like this.

This massive plug-in electric bus concept comes from Polish bus-maker Solaris--and it uses fuel cells too.

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The 24-meter (78.7 feet) double-jointed bus was developed in concert with the Technical Universities of Poznan and Warsaw, and is based on the existing Solaris Urbino series of buses.

The electric concept bus has a battery pack that's charged from an external source, but it also features an onboard fuel-cell stack that can act as a range extender.

The project is part of the Inno-Tech program of the Polish government and receives 1.5 million euros (about $1.7 million) in funding.

Solaris Urbino 24 Electric concept

Solaris Urbino 24 Electric concept

Enlarge Photo
Solaris already sells diesel-electric hybrid versions of the Urbino, although it's unclear whether this all-electric version will be put into production.

The use of fuel cells is certainly novel, but there are other companies developing and selling electric buses.

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Proterra electric buses currently operate in a handful of U.S. cities, including San Antonio, Texas, and Stockton, California.

One of the buses managed to travel 700 miles in 24 hours during a test last year--with stops to recharge at one of Proterra's own fast-charging stations.

Chinese carmaker BYD also builds buses for cities in its home country, and is trying to break into the U.S. bus market.

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It built one bus for use as a shuttle at the Denver International Airport, and attempted to complete bus orders for the cities of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Political controversy and the termination of the initial Long Beach contract have slowed those plans so far, though.

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