Hereby CleanTechnica, we’ve discussed Solaris quite a bit. It is a bus manufacturer in Europe that is making great strides in electrifying public transport in European cities, so that suits us.
A few months ago, the company reached an important milestone with the sale of its 2000th electric bus. More than 140 carriers from more than 140 cities in 21 European countries have placed orders for these astonishing 2000 Urbino zero-emission electric vehicles. More than 1,300 have already arrived and are being put into use. According to the manufacturer, 700 more electric buses will be added this year or next. Electric Urbino vehicles help promote modern and environmentally friendly transport in Berlin, Bolzano, Brussels, Cluj-Napoca, Krakow, Landshut, Madrid, Milan, Oslo, Paris, Warsaw and Venice, among others.
This milestone was long in the making. Solaris began its battery-powered adventure in 2011 with the launch of its first 8.9-meter Urbino electric bus. The electric bus Urbino 12 has been produced since 2012, followed by the unveiling of the electric bus Urbino 18 in 2013. A platform for the electric bus Urbino 24 was created in 2019 and Solaris was introduced in 2020. ‘ first intercity e-bus: the Urbino 15 LEelectric. Solaris’ latest electric bus debuted just this year: the Urbino 9 LEelectrical.
Along the way, Solaris has done some cool, innovative things with public transport. Last year, Solaris Urbino 15 LE electric bus won the Sustainable Bus Award 2022. The Sustainable Bus Award is an international competition that seeks to raise awareness of the importance of developing sustainable public transport. It is also working to create a positive image for buses and coaches as key modes of transport in the prevention of climate change.
Solaris also created an innovative charging park for electric buses. The new EV Charging Park is a testing ground for various charging technologies for electric buses. The new Charging Park will have an area of 5,000 square meters. There will be four vehicle sheds in the covered area of the park, including the main loader and a technology center.
Solaris’s Charging Park will be the first bi-directional charging park in Poland and one of the first of its locations in Europe. The use of V2G technology makes it possible to unload buses for testing purposes and also to use vehicles as mobile energy storage facilities.
Today Solaris produces about 1500 buses per year. Electric motors account for about half of the company’s current production. The share of alternative energy in the purchase queue has been increasing for several years, indicating that more cities are using zero-emission transport.
Solaris’ approach to selling electric buses was the reason, according to the company. Instead of selling just a few models of electric buses, Solaris is working with municipalities and transport organizations to develop a bus that is adapted to local requirements and performs well on local routes. Municipalities can feel more confident that the vehicles will function effectively in the areas where they will be used as all the guesswork has been taken away.
How Solaris did in 2021
Solaris has its . released Sustainability Report 2021 this week on the company’s website. The manufacturer thus continues to pursue activities based on transparency and commitment to its environment and employees.
“Solaris is committed to improving the quality of life for city dwellers and providing public transport passengers with the best possible travel experience. As part of the CAF Group and as an international company with 16 subsidiaries across Europe, Solaris is fully aware of its impact on international communities and at the same time of its responsibility towards these groups. That is why Solaris is continuously working to reduce the possible adverse effects and amplify the positive effects of its business activities, all of which have been presented in a very detailed and comprehensive manner in the latest sustainability report,” said Javier Calleja, CEO of Solaris Bus & Coach sp. z oo
Solaris published its second report, Sustainability Report 2.0: The Challenge of Urbanization and Global Climate and Civilization Change, on April the 30th. It is divided into four parts: “Sustainable Cities”, “Environment”, “People” and “Governance”. This is Solaris’ second report, demonstrating the company’s commitment to ESG implementation and reporting. It is designed in accordance with international GRI reporting guidelines. With the help of key stakeholders, the company has specifically selected the relevant sustainability aspects and the scope of reported data that are most important to its operations.
Much space has been devoted in the report to activities that lie behind the company’s success stories, such as product innovations, diverse investments and resource-saving solutions. The intensive work of the Development Department to increase the nominal energy capacity of its batteries has resulted in a significantly longer operating radius.
Solaris began Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) research in 2021 for two of its bus types: the Solaris Urbino 18 electric and Solaris Urbino 12 hybrid buses, and received Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for them based on these analyzes in April 2022. This evaluation has enabled the company to identify processes, materials and components with the greatest environmental impact, enabling it to devise strategies to minimize their negative impacts on the environment.
Employee development is an important aspect of a company’s success. In its report, Solaris outlines a number of initiatives that have been taken on behalf of its employees to provide them with opportunities to improve themselves in areas that both support business goals and broaden their professional skills. Last year, the company launched new educational programs for young people to raise their environmental awareness and encourage them to use public transport as a mode of transport. Created for primary school students in grades 1-3, the CityMission initiative included a creative competition, educational workshops, and an “urban game.”
The Sustainability Report, which summarizes Solaris’ ESG efforts in 2021, is the culmination of months of work by Solaris Bus & Coach sp. z oos and subsidiaries within the Solaris Group. The report is available in Polish and English. In order to better protect the environment, the company has chosen to limit the publication of the report to web-based distribution, to avoid paper waste.
Want to see the report for yourself? Check it out here.
Featured image provided by Solaris.
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