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Ostrava’s public transport corporation (DPO) is currently using 105 new low-floor buses powered by CNG (compressed natural gas). These have replaced around one-third of the diesel buses that used to be in the fleet, bringing major environmental benefits as well as achieving substantial reductions in operating costs. The entire remaining diesel fleet is scheduled to be replaced by low-emissions (or zero-emissions) buses by 2020. The use of natural gas-fuelled buses across the fleet has been made possible by the construction of a new large-scale filling station for CNG. Its parameters (3000 Nm3 per hour, capacity 24 buses per hour) make it one of the largest and most efficient facilities of its type in Central Europe.

In accordance with the corporation’s planned investments and commitments to achieve measurable success indicators from the mobility section of the City’s Strategic Plan, by 2025 a minimum 60% of Ostrava’s public transport fleet will consist of zero-emissions vehicles (currently 54%) and at least 35% will meet EURO 6 emissions requirements (currently 17%). This will mean that by 2025, a total 95% of Ostrava’s public transport vehicles will have low or zero emissions (currently 71%).

Electric bus using the Opportunity Charging system

Since October 2018, bus route no. 64 from Svinov to the sanatorium in Klimkovice has been served by an Ekova Electron electric bus.The bus is a low-floor, fully electric model with automatically regulated air conditioning. Its greatest advantage is that it can operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year thanks to the ultra-fast Opportunity Charging system. The bus is charged up at the new charging point when it reaches its stop in Svinov, after which it immediately sets out again on its normal route. After just 5 minutes’ charging, the bus has an hour’s extra range.

The Opportunity Charging system is the first ultra-fast charging station in the Czech Republic. It was supplied by the Dutch company Heliox, one of the global leaders in rapid charging solutions for public transport.

As part of the public transport corporation’s ongoing plans to modernize its fleet, in the upcoming years it will acquire around 40 new electric buses. This will help the City achieve its commitment to completely phase out diesel engines from its public transport fleet by 2020  (photo ekova.cz)

CNG buses

Since 2015 Ostrava’s public transport fleet has included Solaris Urbino low-floor buses using compressed natural gas (CNG) with Cummins ISLGE6 320 engines producing 239kW and meeting EURO 6 emissions requirements. The operating costs of these buses are just half the costs of running diesel buses (1 kg of CNG = 1 litre of diesel).

Trams Stadler nOVA

In April 2018, Ostrava’s tram passengers experienced a real step up in the quality of services when 24 new trams made by the Swiss company Stadler came into operation, offering a higher standard of comfort and safety. The trams were designed and produced by a team that included a number of Czech technicians.

These are the first Stadler trams to be used in the Czech Republic. Ostrava’s public transport corporation announced a tender setting out very strict and demanding requirements focusing mainly on passenger comfort and safety. The high-quality Swiss trams were modified at Stadler’s Czech subsidiary to meet these specific requirements. They are low-floor (stepless) models, fully air conditioned, with an ergonomic cockpit and state-of-the-art camera and info systems (LCD monitors). Passenger comfort is enhanced by USB points for charging phones and tablets, as well as modern air conditioning and heating solutions. The rotary chassis with flexible frames ensure that noise is minimized during operation, even at higher speeds. A new feature of the Ostrava trams is wheel lubrication, which also helps reduce noise and vibrations. A Stadler tram can carry up to 188 people, 61 seated.

(sources: dpo.cz and ecova.cz)

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