Northern Swedish city launches battery-powered bus route

Luleå is the regional capital of Norrbotten. (Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)
Cold climate is no obstacle for green battery commuting in the largest city in Sweden’s northernmost county.

No diesel smell, no noise, no shaking from the engines. Passengers commuting to Luleå city centre from the suburbs of Kronan or Porön on board one of the five brand new electric buses will have a comfortable ride, the municipality reports.

The maiden drive with big festivities was on Saturday, while regular scheduled traffic began Monday morning.

Charged with renewable energy
The bus charges the batteries by lifting the plug-in device from the roof and connecting it with a charger at the terminals, like here at Umeå airport. (Thomas Nilsen/the Independent Barents Observer)

Chargers for the buses are placed in both ends of the route. Charging takes some 5-7 minutes and gives the bus a range of about 50 kilometers. The electricity for charging the batteries comes from 100% renewable hydro power and wind power produced in northern Sweden. Each bus has seating for 47 passengers who can enjoy WiFi and chargers for mobile devices in each seat.

The electric city buses project is a cooperation between the municipality of Luleå, the local energy company and the city’s bus company LLT.

Electric bus traffic has already proven successful in another northern Swedish city, Umeå, where 12 green-colored battery buses serve routes within the city.

Located just 100 kilometers south of the Arctic Circle, Luleå is now the world’s northernmost city with battery-powered city buses. Murmansk (northwest Russia), though, has the world’s northernmost electric buses, with a comprehensive network of trolleybuses driving the streets of the northern Russian city since 1962.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Arctic Canadian town learns lessons from Alaskan wind farm, CBC News

Finland: Finland’s first electric plane raises hopes for future of aviation, Yle News

Norway: Norwegian border guards testing electric bike option, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Arctic electric rally hits the road towards Northwestern Russia, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Driverless buses hit the streets in Stockholm, Radio Sweden

United States: Alaska’s first, electric public transit bus ready to hit Anchorage streets, Alaska Public Media

Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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