Tallinn not likely to switch to electric buses (1)
Even though Tallinn is taking part in a European Union project that examines the use of electric buses in public transport, the city is skeptical and generally prefers hybrid buses. The main reason for this is the fact that it would need to set up the infrastructure necessary for charging.
“Building charging points isn’t easy,” Andres Herkel, the director of bus services with the city’s public transport company, Tallinna Linnatranspordi AS, told the Baltic News Service. He said that they would want to use electric buses on all routes, not just a limited number of them.
Overnight charging of the electric buses buses would be a good solution. However, overnight charging couldn't be adapted for the very long 12-meter buses used on many routes in Tallinn. Herkel said that with overnight-charged electric buses, the need to accommodate bigger batteries would leave less space for passengers. Generally speaking, overnight charging made sense for smaller buses with up to 20 seats.
Tallinn’s public transport development plan for 2014–2024 didn’t take up the subject of electric mobility, Herkel said. He added that the development plan was adjusted every year in accordance with the changes taking place.
Tallinn is participating as an observer in the ZeEUS project of the EU, which aims at using entirely electrically powered buses as a city or area’s main means of public transport.
The city's public transport network acquired a reputation for being particularly cutting-edge when Tallinn voters decided in 2012 to make it free for all registered residents starting 2013. Tallinna Linnatranspordi AS have operated hybrid buses for several months now, and found in early 2016 that they performed well even in Estonia's cold winter.