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Solar bus technology is hitting the streets of Munich

Munich's transport company, Münchner Verkehrsgesellschaft (MVG) and Sono Motors have announced the imminent launch of a bus equipped with 20 semi-flexible photovoltaic modules on the roof

Published: Apr 22, 2022 04:20:07 PM IST
Updated: Apr 22, 2022 04:43:37 PM IST

Solar bus technology is hitting the streets of Munich A first solar-powered test bus is expected to hit the streets of Munich this year. Image: Courtesy of Sono Motors

Munich's transport company will soon launch its first-ever bus powered, in part, by solar energy. In collaboration with the startup Sono Motors, each bus powered with solar technology promises to save up to 2,500 liters of diesel and reduce local CO2 emissions by more than 6.5 tonnes a year.

Munich's transport company, Münchner Verkehrsgesellschaft (MVG) and Sono Motors have announced the imminent launch of a bus equipped with 20 semi-flexible photovoltaic modules on the roof, capable of delivering a total power of more than 2,000 W. These modules cover a total area of 12 square meters.

This solar energy system will of course be used to power the bus battery, but also various services such as heating, air conditioning or the steering system of the vehicle. This is not a 100% electric bus, but a hybrid vehicle set-up, equipped with a diesel engine and a small 24V battery. The simple fact of stabilizing the battery's energy supply makes it possible to prolong its lifespan and to reduce maintenance costs.

To begin with, a first test bus will be running in Munich this year. It will take the form of an extension, like a trailer, attached to the back of another bus. It will be able to accommodate passengers and will be used primarily to test the potential and energy efficiency of this technology in everyday use. The goal is obviously to have as many of them as possible on the road in the years to come.

Sono Motors is a German startup specializing in the transition to sustainable mobility, particularly through solar energy. It has even developed its first electric car, equipped with a multitude of solar cells on the body, already available to pre-order in Germany.

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