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Polish-built electric antimicrobial bus is Bus of the Year

Staff Writer | September 30, 2016
A Polish-built electric bus that uses ground-breaking antimicrobial copper handrails has been crowned International Bus of the Year.
Solaris Urbino
Innovation   The Urbino 12 impressed a panel of 20 judges
The Solaris Urbino 12’s honour is the first time the title has been awarded to a Polish manufacturer, and also the first time in the history of the competition that it went to a battery-driven vehicle.

Run since 1989, this year’s competition—held in Brussels—saw competing vehicles assessed by a jury representing 20 countries.

With a focus on green transport, four of the five finalists were electric whilst one was fuelled by natural gas.

Factors assessed included acceleration, stopping distance, vibrations and noise level as well as subjective impressions from both a driver and passenger perspective.tnb-solaris-urbino

The new Solaris Urbino 12 electric has 240 kWh batteries. Two charging systems are installed: one using a pantograph for charging at bus stops, the other a plug-in charger for use in the depot.

The Urbino 12 impressed a panel of 20 judges on all levels, with the added bonus of its antimicrobial copper handrails — an innovation that, thanks to its germ-killing capabilities, brings an added public health benefit that goes beyond simply improving air quality.

Handrails are among the most frequently-touched surfaces on a bus, which prompted the manufacturer’s decision to make them from the inherently hygienic material.

Manufactured by Polish company STER, the rails are engineered to be lightweight and colour stable, with the added benefit of being antimicrobial.